Kingman’s continued reign depends on rain

CHAMPION miler Kingman’s reappearance in tomorrow’s Prix Jacques le Marois hinges on the ground after heavy rain in France.

Trainer John Gosden says he will only risk the 2014 horse of the year if conditions at Deauville do not deteriorate further.

Gosden, this year’s leading trainer, was speaking after yesterday’s Group Two Prix Guillaume D’Ornano in which his Western Hymn could only finish fourth under William Buick who reported the ground to be testing after an inch of rain fell during Thursday night.

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Gosden, who flew back to England last night, will return to Deauville later today to assess conditions for himself.

Kingman, the winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, showed a blistering turn of foot to dispense with the classy Toronado when he took on older horses for the first time in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood less than three weeks ago.

He has won on testing ground – Kingman’s success in the Irish 2000 Guineas came after much deliberation on the part of connections.

However, Kingman’s big-race partner James Doyle is looking forward to getting back on board the son of Invincible Spirit.

“I haven’t sat on him since Goodwood but I’ve seen him walk past me a couple of times with Rab Havlin on his back,” said Doyle, retained rider to Prince Khalid Abdullah.

“Rab rides him in all his work and it’s a system that seems to work well, John seems to like it that way. Speaking to Rab and Mr Gosden they seem very happy with him.”

Meanwhile, Toronado’s team turn to Olympic Glory in another bid to lower the colours of Kingman and he is likely to have the soft ground he loves as he goes for a fourth win at the top level.

Winner of the Lockinge Stakes in the spring, Richard Hannon’s charge has been kept for this race since finishing fourth to Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp at the end of May.