Two-year-old Kingsgate Native, who had yet to break his maiden, did so in a big way, flying to a 1 3/4-length victory over older rivals in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) at York Aug. 23.
With the victory, Kingsgate Native became the first juvenile to capture the Nunthorpe since Lyric Fantasy did so in 1992.
The John Best-trained colt entered the group I contest off a second-place finish in the Betfair Molecomb Stakes (Eng-III) at Goodwood in July. Before that, he finished second in the listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in his career debut.
Jockey Jimmy Quinn kept Kingsgate Native relaxed toward the back of the pack, as Desert Lord and favored Dandy Man dueled on the front end. Quinn asked his mount to quicken over a furlong out, and the youngster shot past the leaders to win going away.
Desert Lord, winner of the 2006 Prix de l'Abbaye (Fr-I), held on for second by a head over Dandy Man. Time for the five furlongs was 58.14 seconds.
Best, who is attending the OBS yearling sale in Florida, told reporters in a telephone interview: “That's unbelievable. I'm out in Florida and I think the sales ring is going to empty as so many people were cheering him on. He's some horse; I wouldn't have started him off in the Windsor Castle if I thought otherwise.”
Kingsgate Native is a bay colt by Mujadil out of Native Force, by Indian Ridge. He was bred in Ireland by Peter McCucheon and is owned by John Mayne.