Kingman's Calyx Sensational On Pavilion Return

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4th at ASC, Gr. Stk, £80,000G3 Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial S. (Pavilion S.) (6f)Winner: Calyx (GB), c, 3 by Kingman (GB)

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Long absent and much missed, 'TDN Rising Star' Calyx (GB) (Kingman {GB}) burst back onto the scene in Wednesday's G3 Merriebelle Stable Commonwealth Cup Trial S. over the same six-furlong strip over which he had proven so high-class in last year's G2 Coventry S. at Royal Ascot. Always travelling with ease on the outer of the small group over two lengths off the pace, the Juddmonte homebred was set alight by Frankie Dettori once finding himself in front with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining. Electric from there, the 1-3 favourite hit the line with four lengths to spare over the highly-regarded Elsworth runner No Nonsense (GB) (Acclamation {GB}) in this race registered as the Pavilion S.

“He was amazing,” commented a bowled-over Dettori. “He's blessed with so much speed, I think sprinting is his thing. He's a serious horse and there is lots to look forward to.”

Prior to the inauguration of the Commonwealth Cup, the likes of Calyx were generally forced into showing up for the 2000 Guineas with a lack of sprinting options available. That Classic was considered after stablemate Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) went by the wayside recently, but connections are content they made the right call as Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe explained afterwards. “It had always been in our minds to go a mile, because the mile races are so important. From that point of view, we had to find out if he is sprinter or a miler and it is probably better to find out in a race like this rather than get to the six-furlong pole in the 2000 Guineas, have a hard race coming down the hill and then find out he doesn't stay,” he said.

After the brave call to avoid Newmarket, the big sprint tests are firmly on the winner's agenda. “It looks like he wants to be a sprinter, I would say, and that is what Frankie thought,” Grimthorpe added. “We have always said that he has been training nicely, there is no doubt about that. It was just a question of trying to pick the right race for him after such a long layoff. That was John [Gosden]'s main concern. Calyx has been working with a staying horse and settling well, but I think he is a different animal on the racecourse. He certainly has that zip and, although he settled pretty well in the race, I think the way he quickened there suggests six furlongs is going to be his business.”

Gosden was also unequivocal about pointing at the Royal meeting's six-furlong Group 1 contest over the G1 St James's Palace S. “Calyx is bred to be a miler, but he likes to sprint. All being well, we will be back here for the [June 21] Commonwealth Cup,” he confirmed. “It is a great race for the 3-year-olds and I think that is clearly the way to go now. I've been training him diligently to be a miler, but when he goes out there he wants to be a sprinter and that's great. I haven't encouraged him to do that, that's just him.”

Pedigree Notes

Calyx has done what his G3 Prix d'Aumale-winning dam Helleborine (GB) (Observatory) failed to do and win a group race as a 3-year-old, but that may be harsh on that G1 Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up as she may have run into troubles after her juvenile campaign. She is a full-sister to the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup heroine African Rose (GB), whose daughter Fair Eva (GB) (Frankel {GB}) looked a potential world-beater when capturing the G3 Princess Margaret S. at two before losing her way. The second dam is the G3 Lancashire Oaks third New Orchid (Quest For Fame {GB}), who is a half-sister to the G1 Dewhurst S.-winning sire Distant Music (Distant View) who was third in a vintage renewal of the G1 Champion S. at three. Helleborine also has a yearling colt by Muhaarar (GB) and a filly foal by Frankel (GB).

Wednesday, Ascot, Britain
MERRIEBELLE STABLE COMMONWEALTH CUP TRIAL S. (PAVILION S.)-G3, £80,000, Ascot, 5-1, 3yo, 6fT, 1:12.20, g/f.
1–CALYX (GB), 127, c, 3, by Kingman (GB)">Kingman (GB)
1st Dam: Helleborine (GB) (GSW & G1SP-Fr, $218,924), by Observatory
2nd Dam: New Orchid, by Quest For Fame (GB)
3rd Dam: Musicanti, by Nijinsky II
O-Khalid Abdullah; B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-John Gosden; J-Lanfranco Dettori. £45,368. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $178,742. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–No Nonsense (GB), 127, c, 3, Acclamation (GB)–Gift of Music (Ire), by Cadeaux Genereux (GB). O-J C Smith; B-Littleton Stud (GB); T-David Elsworth. £17,200.
3–Konchek (GB), 127, c, 3, Lethal Force (Ire)–Soar (GB), by Danzero (Aus). (85,000gns Ylg '17 TAOCT). O-AlMohamediya Racing; B-Cheveley Park Stud Ltd (GB); T-Clive Cox. £8,608.
Margins: 4, HF, HD. Odds: 0.30, 33.00, 14.00.
Also Ran: Signora Cabello (Ire), Pocket Dynamo, The Cruising Lord (GB), Well Done Fox (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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