King’s Lynn on course for Royal Ascot after Temple joy
King’s Lynn booked his Royal Ascot ticket and provided jockey David Probert with a Haydock treble when prevailing in the Group Two Temple Stakes.
The Andrew Balding-trained gelding was a 5-1 chance for the five-furlong sprint and struck from the outer of the track to take up the lead with a furlong remaining.
From there the bay, who is owned by the Queen, began to pull away from the bulk of the field and just held off a strong-finishing Twilight Calls by a head.
King’s Lynn has been cut to 14-1 for the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting as a result and is likely to head in that direction come June.
“A really great result. Thrilled for the horse – he is a star!” said Balding, speaking from Goodwood.
“It is all eyes on Royal Ascot, hopefully. Most likely the King’s Stand, but it is a conversation we will have nearer the time.
“He obviously is in the Platinum Jubilee and we put him in the Wokingham, just in case things didn’t work out today and we needed another avenue, but obviously that won’t be the case.
“He (Probert) gave him a great ride. It was excellent.”
Jake Warren, representing the Queen, added: “He’s run a blinder and he’s been a really consistent horse through two, three, four and now five.
“He’s in great shape and condition and handled it really well, so it’s an amazing result for Her Majesty.
“It’s wonderful to have a result like this for her and it’s the beginning of an exciting year.”
Henry Candy, trainer of the second-placed Twilight Calls, said: “He’s getting better. He loves really rattling fast ground, but you can’t blame the ground today.
“He wasn’t totally lucky in-running, but take nothing away from the winner. Adam (Kirby) said the faster they go the better and I think if Wesley Ward appears at Ascot, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“They go a million miles an hour (in the King’s Stand) and hopefully it will be firm ground as well.”
Tim Easterby, trainer of the 7-2 favourite Winter Power, who finished eighth, said: “She slipped a little bit coming out of the stalls, but David (Allan) was quite happy with her and she travelled well and he said he just thought she might’ve needed this to put her right.
“I remember when she was two and we were trying to get her ready her for Ascot, you just can’t naturally get her ready early.
“She’ll go to Ascot, but we might have a look at somewhere else first.”