Kinross and Dettori scorch to victory in QIPCO British Champions Sprint
Kinross continued a brilliant season for trainer Ralph Beckett by powering to a two-and-a-quarter length victory in the G1 British Champions Sprint Stakes under Frankie Dettori.
The well-backed 3/1 favourite had never previously won over six furlongs but the drop back from seven furlongs proved no issue for a horse in the form of his life.
Having registered a first G1 success in the Prix de la Foret 13 days ago, Kinross was always travelling well in the near-side group. Dettori made his move early, hitting the front at the two-furlong pole, and his mount saw the race out strongly.
The Henry Candy-trained Run To Freedom outran odds of 150/1 to get up for second, just edging out last year’s winner Creative Force by a neck.
Beckett said: “What a horse! Kinross pulled a shoe off last Thursday and had no shoe on for three days. He’s got paper-thin soles, so we had to sweat a bit. But he doesn’t need work – he trains himself, pretty much.
“I have always wanted to do this – as a three-year-old the late James Delahooke, who managed the stud for Julian and Sarah Richmond-Watson who raced him at two, rang and said, ‘should I be backing him for the Guineas?’. I said, ‘I don’t know, James, but I think he’s quick enough to win a July Cup.’ I’ve always had a little bit of a hankering for him to do it at this trip and now was the time, even with a Breeders’ Cup Mile on the horizon. He’ll go there as well, with any luck.
“He’s better off running than galloping. We are only an hour down the road from here and once we got enough juice in the ground… fast ground over six is a bit of a struggle, but soft ground over six is no bother to him. I was just delighted to see him travel so well when Naval Crown came off it. It’s just great. What a horse he is – we’re blessed to have him, we really are. You wait a long time for horses like this. I trained his mother; she even ran in the Oaks, so for him to be as effective over this trip gives us a real kick.”
Dettori said: “Ralph has been training fantastically this year. Two Group One wins in the space of two weeks for Kinross and we will take him to America now [for the Breeders’ Cup Mile].
“I kicked earlier than I usually would with him. I know seven is his optimum trip so I said let’s go, come and catch me.
“Kinross loves the conditions and Ralph has found the key to this horse. He keeps him happy at home and doesn’t do much with him. He is in tremendous form.”
Henry Candy said of Run To Freedom: “That was absolutely superb, wasn’t it? The cheekpieces have made all the difference to him. He loved the ground, loves Ascot, but in the past without those, he wouldn’t concentrate and the jockey couldn’t ride a race.
“The other day when he was fourth here, David [Probert] said something came up at the two-furlong pole, set him alight and he went too soon. So today we had the confidence to tell Dane to ride a proper race on him.
“He definitely needed a little bit of headgear on. If he can keep his concentration, he will be a serious horse next year. He’s a great big frame of a thing now – if he fills out a little bit more, he could be exciting. I thought he would nearly win today. He’s in great form.”
Rohaan finished fourth after leading home the far side. Trainer David Evans said: “I am pleased. It has been a big build-up, and it would be nice if he was to win one but Adam [Kirby] said he was probably on the wrong side, which he probably was. Whether he would have beaten the winner, I don’t know, but it was still a good run.”
2.00pm QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)
1 Kinross (Marc Chan) Ralph Beckett 5-9-04 Frankie Dettori 3/1F
2 Run To Freedom (Godfrey Wilson) Henry Candy 4-9-04 Dane O’Neill 150/1
3 Creative Force (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 4-9-04 William Buick 4/1
Ralph Beckett – 2nd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
Frankie Dettori – 8th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day