Kingman's Epictetus Takes The Blue Riband Trial

Frankel | Bronwen Healy


Trying the contours of Epsom in Tuesday's 10-furlong Listed Weatherbys Digital Solutions Blue Riband Trial, TDN Rising Star Epictetus (Ire) (Kingman {GB}–Thistle Bird {GB}, by Selkirk) executed the plan by making a smooth winning return under Frankie Dettori without convincing that the mile-and-a-half trip of the Derby is the way to go. Sent off the 2-5 favourite on the back of his second in the G1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster in October, George Strawbridge's son of the G1 Pretty Polly S. heroine travelled comfortably in third until asked to take command approaching two out. Looking likely to stretch his rivals soon after, the John and Thady Gosden-trained homebred tired late and had only 3/4 of a length to spare over the Charlie Johnston-trained novice scorer Hadrianus (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at the line.

“It was very testing conditions today,” John Gosden said. “Frankie said he was a little bit lonely in front and he got to the front sooner than he wanted. He has wintered well and is a grand horse, but he hasn't been training on that. He has gone and done it well and shown a good attitude, but just in the end he was looking about a bit and getting tired.”

Whether Epictetus eventually comes back here for the Derby or to Chantilly for the G1 Prix du Jockey Club is up in the air, with the May 18 G2 Dante S. set to provide more clues. “We will go to the Dante and take it from there,” Gosden Sr added. “He may well be more a Prix du Jockey Club horse. Certainly his pedigree might indicate that. We will get to the Dante and make a decision.”


Epictetus is the fifth foal out of Thistle Bird, who also captured two renewals of the G3 Princess Elizabeth S. A half to the dual group 3 winner and G1 Cantala S. runner-up McCreery (GB) (Big Bad Bob {Ire}), she is out of the triple listed-winning G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest third Dolma (Fr) (Marchand de Sable). Thistle Bird's daughter Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}), who captured the G3 Valiant S. and Listed Radley S. and was runner-up in the G3 Fred Darling S., was a 1.25million gns purchase by M V Magnier at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale, while she also has the unraced 3-year-old colt Burrito (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}).

WEATHERBYS DIGITAL SOLUTIONS BLUE RIBAND TRIAL-Listed, £50,000, Epsom, 4-25, 3yo, 10f 17yT, 2:20.00, sf.
1–EPICTETUS (IRE), 129, c, 3, by Kingman (GB)
     1st Dam: Thistle Bird (GB) (G1SW-Ire, MGSW & G1SP-Eng, G1SP-Fr, $577,634), by Selkirk
     2nd Dam: Dolma (Fr), by Marchand De Sable
     3rd Dam: Young Manila, by Manila
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O/B-George Strawbridge (IRE); T-John & Thady Gosden; J-Frankie Dettori. £28,355. Lifetime Record: G1SP-Eng, 4-2-2-0, $110,052. *1/2 to Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}), GSW-Eng, $123,850; 1/2 to Bullfinch (GB) (Kodiac {GB}), SP-Aus, $193,673.
2–Hadrianus (Ire), 129, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Laugh Out Loud (GB), by Clodovil (Ire).
1ST BLACK TYPE. (62,000gns Ylg '21 TADEY). O-Susan and John Waterworth; B-C O P Hanbury (IRE); T-Charlie Johnston. £10,750.
3–Cite d'Or (Fr), 124, f, 3, Galiway (GB)–Tin Rebel (Fr), by Tin Horse (Ire).
1ST BLACK TYPE. (€10,000 Ylg '21 ARQAU; 17,000gns RNA 2yo '22 TATBRG; €43,000 2yo '22 ARQJUL). O-Nick Bradley Racing 18; B-Mme C Vitse, G Vitse & P Decouz (FR); T-Harry Eustace. £5,380.
Margins: 3/4, 3/4, 6HF. Odds: 0.40, 9.00, 33.00.
Also Ran: Think First (Ire), Stormbuster (GB). Scratched: Intricacy (GB).

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