KING Of Gems (55-1) produced a powerful finish to cause a major upset in the Grade 2 Concorde Cup over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday. Satchdev (9-2) finished second ahead of Macthief (8-1) and Viva Rio (5-1).
King Of Gems turned for home near last of 11 runners, but weaved through traffic and stormed home to win going away by a long neck. “That was super impressive. The way King Of Gems finished was something special,” commented trainer Brett Crawford, who’d leaned marginally towards the better-drawn Macthief, pre-race.
Also well worth noting is that King Of Gems fractured his jaw just two weeks ago and was not certain to run, but he’d shown such a speedy and full recovery that Crawford left him in the race.
The trainer explained: “King Of Gems got one of his incisor teeth caught on what must have been something in his stable and when he pulled away to free himself he fractured his jaw.
“We were worried that he’d be out for a while and miss the race, but Dr. Arnold Mahne gave us his advice and expertise. He took King Of Gems away two Sundays ago, and attached a wire from the incisor tooth on one side to the one on the other side. This pulled his jaw into a position to help with the healing process and it sure healed beautifully. Horses are wonderful, so resilient!
“I thought that King Of Gems wouldn’t eat for a while, but he started eating the moment he came back that Sunday afternoon. He didn’t leave a cube and kept eating well in the days that followed. So he was fine to race and we are very pleased with Dr Mahne’s service, and for Drakenstein Stud with their win.”
King Of Gems is a son of Kingsbarns, a potentially outstanding stallion by Galileo who died at Drakenstein in 2018. Only eight at the time of his death, Kingsbarns left behind a very small first crop, due to well documented fertility issues, but he has made a considerable impact with that first crop.
As a racehorse Kingsbarns was an unbeaten Gr1 winner at two – like such top sires as Frankel and Teofilo. He has another small crop of two-year-olds set to represent him this season, with his juveniles including a filly out of a mare of Rock Of Gibraltar – the sire of Kingsbarns’ talented half-sister Sweeter Still. King Of Gems himself looks set to be a serious player in next month’s Cape Guineas.