St Leger or France for the English King with Ed Walker “frustrated” but not discouraged after the defeat of Glorious Goodwood

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DO NOT cancel English King is coach Ed Walker’s warning cry.

His stable star was transformed into a 5-4 favorite in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood under Frankie Dettori.

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English King is still a horse that can reach Group 1 heights according to his trainerCredit: PA: Press Association

But Lambourn’s coach still has high hopes of a success in Group 1 for his stable star.

After shooting the spotlight with an easy win in the Lingfield Derby Trial, English King finished fifth in the Derby itself.

But he caught the attention of many punters at Epsom and most expected him to triumph in what was billed as a ‘mini-derby’ won by Magnate at Goodwood.

He was only able to finish fourth in a confused race and the St Léger and the Paris Grand Prix will enter the calculations.

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Walker said, “I’m not at all put off by what we’ve seen, we’re still learning and we know there’s more to come.

“We’re frustrated that he didn’t put it all together, but not discouraged, far from it.

“He came out of Goodwood very well. We were disappointed but it was still a fun old race, and it just didn’t come down the hill well.

“I just think we went downhill and he had a lot of ground to catch up and he got off balance.

“In all fairness he was probably going to catch up, but he ran into the back of Chief of the Highlands.

“He didn’t come down the hill as smoothly as he did before, when at Goodwood they went wild and I think we’ll see a different horse next time.

Bjorn Nielsen’s colt is as short as 10-1 for the St Leger, but could head to France for the Prix de Paris Group 1 over a mile and a half, won last year by Japan.

The two remain live players, with Dettori’s availability also likely to be a factor.

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Walker explained: “We want to bring him back to a flatter track and we haven’t yet decided whether it will be the St Léger or the Paris Grand Prix at Deauville.

“It will go straight to one of them.

When it comes to travel, I still think he’s versatile. We know it’s fast enough for ten stages and that will come in handy when and if it comes in while traveling.

Walker expects his star to return for more next year at the age of four and that’s when he thinks we’ll see the best of his horse.

He added: “Next year he will be a much more mature horse.

“He ran very little because of everything that is going on with COVID. I think he is classing all the time and will definitely improve over time.

“He stays in the air and we’ll see which horses can go where. The pitch can be another factor, and we’ll play it by ear for now, we have time on our side.



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