Kingsgate Native rolls back the years
Connections of Kingsgate Native appear to have abandoned plans to retire the 11-year-old after he won at Nottingham on what was supposed to be his swansong.
Kingsgate Native returned to winning ways at Nottingham
Trainer Robert Cowell had said that the two-time Group One winner would be retired "unless he bolts up" but was forced to reconsider when Jim Crowley's mount did exactly that in the ebfstallions.com Conditions Stakes.
"I wasn't quite expecting that," Crowley told the Racing Post. "He travelled really well and was always going to win. He didn't feel like an 11-year-old today.
"He's an absolute legend of a horse."
Winner of the Nunthorpe as a two-year-old – his first racecourse success – and the Diamond Jubilee a year later for John Best, Kingsgate Native was then sent off to stud only for fertility issues to prompt a return to the track under Sir Michael Stoute's care.
Having then moved to Cowell in 2012, he defied his advancing years to win the Temple Stakes for the yard the following season and had continued to hold his own in good company, until finishing last in two runs at Salisbury and Newmarket this summer.
- Kingsgate Native
However, Tuesday's victory at Nottingham has connections once again pondering future targets, including a potential return to Beverley where he is a course winner.
Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud, told the Post: "Every time you think maybe he's had enough he proves that he hasn't.
"He's a horse that thrives on being in training. Robert has done a fantastic job. We might consider the Beverley Bullet or another conditions race."