29 July 2021

Rich pickings for King with Asymmetric

29 July 2021

Asymmetric showed a smart turn of foot to win the Unibet Richmond Stakes and cap a fine Goodwood meeting for Alan King.

Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer King – who sent out his first Group One winner earlier in the week when Trueshan landed the Goodwood Cup – saw Asymmetric gain compensation for his narrow second in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

As the Group Two field approached the furlong marker there was just enough room for the Martin Harley-ridden 11-4 favourite to squeeze between Khunan and Gis A Sub, and once in the clear he shot to the front.

The race was not over, however, as Super Sprint victor Gubbass was challenging widest of all, but the unlucky story of the race looked to be Norfolk winner Perfect Power.

Paul Hanagan dropped him out last in the early stages and everywhere he went he found the door closed, finishing full of running.

Asymmetric ultimately had half a length in hand of Khunan, with Gubbass a nose back in third and a neck and the same to Ebro River and Perfect Power.

King said: “I hoped and thought he would run very well today, but I wasn’t thinking he had to win this.

“He has an absolutely wonderful temperament, he’s horizontal, he’s so laid back.

Asymmetric leads them home (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

“He has a pretty lethal turn of foot when he does go, they looked to go pretty steady early and we always take a lead and then drop back and they probably weren’t going strong enough.

“Martin was very happy with him, he said he was always going to drop in and have one crack at him, which we’ve done.

“He’s not the biggest, I think he’s just that little bit sharper for the July Stakes.

“He does nothing at home, he eats and sleeps and you just have to give him the odd squeeze in a morning to make sure all is good.

“He does go on soft, but we’ve always said he’s a much better horse on top of the ground.”

On plans, King said: “He’s in the Gimcrack, he is entered in the Group One (Prix Morny) in France, we’ll see what the team want to do.”

Richard Hannon said of Gubbass: “It was another step forward, though I felt we were a little bit unlucky in running.

“He’s proving a Trojan for the owners and he’s pencilled in for either the Gimcrack or the Morny next.”

Of Khunan and Perfect Power, trainer Richard Fahey said: “Things didn’t go right for Perfect Power, but it was the opposite for Khunan, who got a lovely run up the rail and I think he’s a six-furlong horse.

“Perfect Power hasn’t had a hard race today, in fact I’ve never seen one with a lesser blow. He’ll go for the Morny in three weeks’ time. It will hopefully be better ground – the faster the better.”

For winning jockey Harley, meanwhile, Asymmetric’s success was a morale boost only hours after he had been handed a forthcoming suspension for previous whip offences.

At a British Horseracing Authority referral hearing, he was suspended for 18 days – six of them deferred for seven weeks – under the totting-up procedure following his ride on runner-up Third Kingdom at Newcastle on July 24.

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