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Press Release 11th April 2023 Kempton Park

Slipofthepen enhanced the prospects of giving The King a runner on the day of his Coronation in next month’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas after maintaining his unbeaten record on his seasonal return in the Join Racing TV Now Conditions Stakes at Kempton Park today.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Night Of Thunder colt kept the option of an outing in opening Classic of the season at Newmarket on Saturday, May 6th as a possibility after making it two wins from as many starts in the mile contest under James Doyle.

Anchored at the rear of the five runner field through the early exchanges of the race the 4-9 favourite got a perfect run up the inside of his rivals turning for home before being called on for his effort.

With most of those around him under full drives the odds-on market leader breezed to the front before being pushed out to score by a length and a quarter from the rallying Ensued.

Gosden said: “He only had one run before this. It is interesting today that all the riders are telling me that they are coming into the straight and hitting a headwind so it is hard for anything to look impressive.

“I’m delighted with the way he travelled. He got a little lit up when the outsider came upside and tried to rush on but he relaxed well and quickened well. He is a horse that is learning a lot as that is only the second race of his life.


“I’m very pleased with the way he did and he behaved beautifully before. He has got a lot of class about him. We will see where we want to go as we have plenty of time before we make any decisions.”

While Slipofthepen was cut into 16-1 for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas by Sky Bet and 20-1 for the same race by Paddy Power, John Gosden hinted that an outing in the Listed Heron Stakes on May 16th ahead of an outing at Royal Ascot remains another option.


Gosden added: “This horse I think is a miler. He feels and trains like a miler. He has a high cruising speed and a good turn of foot. Whether he goes to a Guineas it is a little bit premature to be talking about that.

“For a Guineas you need a bundle of experience and he has gained some today. We will just see how he is the next 10 days and make some decisions.

“That (St James’s Palace Stakes) is a race I very much have in mind for him. Either you decide you want to go for the Guineas or the Heron Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes.

“Those are the two routes and I’ve had lot of good luck winning the St James’s Palace going from the Heron. Everything is open for discussion and the horse will tell us how he is over the next few days and we can make our mind up from there.”

“We are here we have got him out and he has done nicely and is going the right way.”

As for The King and Queen Consort’s racing manager John Warren he insisted that despite the QIPCO 2000 Guineas falling on the same day of the Coronation it would not prevent Slipofthepen contesting the race should that be the route connections decide to take.

Warren added: “As far as the owners are concerned they won’t be able to think of anything else but the coronation but they would never prevent the horse participating if we recommended if that is where he ought to go.

“It would be an added bonus and they would watch after the event. The King has had very good osmosis in tuning into the bloodstock side of The Queen’s life.

“He has always said when he had the responsibility of taking the bloodstock portfolio on he would take it seriously and he has, wonderfully supported by the Queen Consort at the same time. It is a wonderful thing for racing they have both taken such an interest.”

Running Lion has long way to go to emulate her late Group One-winning sire Roaring Lion, however connections hinted that outing in next month’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket could be on the table following her comeback success under Oisin Murphy.

Arriving on the back of wins at Lingfield and Chelmsford City the David Howden-owned filly initiated a double for the Gosden team when completing a hat-trick of victories on her seasonal return in the Racing TV Fillies’ Conditions Stakes.

Sitting in behind the early pace, which was cut out for much of the mile prize Rainbow Sky, the 6-4 favourite moved on mid-way down the home straight in the hands of Oisin Murphy before obliging by a length.

Following the race Running Lion was trimmed into 33-1 for the 1000 Guineas by both Paddy Power and Sky Bet while William Hill went 25-1 for the same race.

David Redvers, racing manager to owner David Howden, said: “I bred her with David (Howden) and it looks like he has got a lovely filly there.

“He has probably got about 12 horses in training and it is lovely to have a nice one for him.

“I think understandably we will wait and see and what shapes up. She is a bit like her father and she will definitely be better over 10 furlongs in the future.

“It is whether we go for the Guineas or let her step up in trip. It is a fantastic start for the season. We were taking on two smart Godolphin fillies and that was a good starting point.”

While joint trainer John Gosden would not commit to Running Lion’s next target he admitted the display was a ‘solid performance’.

He said: “It was a nice performance in a strong headwind and she showed a great attitude.

“We are happy at mile at the moment he said (Oisin Murphy) but a mile and a quarter will be no problem in the future so we are really delighted with her.

“She has (got fancy entries next to her name) and she is tough and genuine. We don’t have to go anywhere in a hurry and we can see how she is over the next couple of weeks and take it from there.

“We wanted to come a mile and this was the only place. We are delighted with her. It was a solid performance.”

The Archie Watson-trained Action Point (11/10 favourite) gave multiple Group One winner Blue Point his first victory as a sire when making his debut a triumphant one by a length and a quarter in the Racing TV/EBF Restricted Novice Stakes. 

Hollie Doyle, winning rider, said: “He is naturally very speedy and he is a laid back type. He is a lovely rangy colt. We usually send a few early types out but he has a bit of scope.

“We were fairly confident. We are renowned for training them to know their jobs and be quick but this is actually quite a talented horse and it has all come very naturally to him. 

“He was just having a look around in front and he took the bend quite awkward. I’d say when we get him on the grass he will be even better. 

“I’ve ridden him quite a lot at home which is always a bonus. He is very laid back at home but comes alive when he needs to.”


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