King Of Steel Triumphs In Group 1 Champion Stakes
King Of Steel (3c Wootton Bassett - Eldacar, by Verglas) dug deep to gain a deserved Group 1 success in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Roger Varian’s charge was beaten close home in the Epsom Derby on his seasonal return before impressing in the Group 1 King Edward VII Stakes, and went on to take third in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Beaten a length by former foe Auguste Rodin last time out in the Irish Champion Stakes, he was sent off favourite to return to winning ways on British Champions Day.
Settled at the back of the field by Frankie Dettori, he began to quicken from four furlongs out and made headway from the two furlong marker. He raced prominently when ridden a furlong from home and ran on strongly to head Via Sistina (Fastnet Rock) close home, leading by three parts of a length on the line.
Frankie Dettori later confirmed the soft ground to be unsuitable for King Of Steel, who he hailed “a superstar”. Dettori donned the purple silks of AMO Racing, whose Kia Joorabchian later said, “I'm so emotional. Frankie is the King of Ascot and King Of Steel deserved that. We've set him some really tough tests, but he's come through it and has been trained amazingly by Roger.”
King Of Steel becomes AMO Racing’s second Group 1 winner by Wootton Bassett, with Bucanero Fuerte having impressed in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes earlier this season. Their latest victor was bred by Bonne Chance Farm.