King’s Gambit chases a first Group 1 win

The Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield is one of the toughest sprint races run in Australia with the pressure on from the outset.

The 1100m Group 1 sprint on Saturday is a race Peter and Paul Snowden have won previously with Russian Revolution and the Sydney trainers are back again with three-year-old King’s Gambit.

The Oakleigh Plate has been the long-range target for King’s Gambit this campaign as the colt chases a first Group 1 win.

And Jamie Kah made a long-range commitment to ride the colt at 50kg on Saturday and has part of her getting to know King’s Gambit she has flown to Sydney on two occasions to ride the three-year-old in preparatory trials.

Peter Snowden said the tough 1100m contest should suit King’s Gambit on Saturday.

“I think the Oakleigh Plate is the right race for him,” Snowden said.

“The 1100 metres at Caulfield, he’s been there before, he’s won there before.

“It’s a high-pressure race, plenty of speed and he likes fast run races.

“He settles better when the speed is on, and I think in my mind it maps well for him.”

King’s Gambit has won two of his six starts with a further four minor placings, but Snowden said the best is yet to be seen of the colt.

“He’s a very smart horse and no-one has seen the best of him yet,” Snowden said.

“He beat Ozzmosis quite comfortably before he won the Coolmore Stakes (at Flemington), then unfortunately, we got a temperature the day before (the Coolmore) and had to pull him out.

“He gets his chance to redeem himself on Saturday and there’s a stack of good races around for him after that.”

Snowden indicated he was wary of running King’s Gambit again up the straight at Flemington, although he admitted things did not pan out when defeated at his only appearance at the track last September.

For that reason, Snowden is not ruling out a start in the Newmarket Handicap, although there are suitable races back in Sydney for the colt.

“His only run down the straight he was a nightmare, but he was first-up and they didn’t go hard, and he did everything back the front,” Snowden said.

“He’s a bit more mature now, so I would never say never, but we’ll worry about all that after the Oakleigh Plate.

“The Newmarket is an option, but so too are races like the T J Smith and The Galaxy in Sydney.”

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