October 23, 2019 - Newmarket, Race 2, Alw, GBP £8,000, 7.0F, .0000

King Leonidas (GB), C, 2, 2017 by Kingman (GB)

1st Dam: Reem (Aus) (SW & MGSP-UAE, $354,291), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Al Afreet (Aus), by
3rd Dam: Drama Of Life, by

Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Essafinaat UK Ltd
Trainer: John Gosden

On a Newmarket card stacked with future promise, John Gosden unveiled another TDN Rising Star in the newcomer King Leonidas (GB) (Kingman {GB}) who cut a dash despite testing conditions in division one of the Coates & Seely Blanc de Blancs Novice S. Having topped last year's Tattersalls October Book 2 Sale at 750,000gns, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's son of the pattern-race performer Reem (Aus) (Galileo {Ire}) attracted significant support into 13-8 favouritism starting out under Frankie Dettori. Switched off worse than mid-division early, the bay was coaxed to the front approaching the furlong pole and readily asserted from there to score by two lengths and a half-length from the experienced pair Evening Sun (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}) and Blue Skyline (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}).

The winning time was no great shakes and this may not have been the strongest maiden, but it was impossible not to be highly encouraged by the performance of the winner who would not have been in any way fully wound up for what turned out to be a smooth introduction. The backwash included Shadwell's newcomer Al Zaraqaan (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}), a half-brother to the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas hero Awtaad (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) was showed early promise before fading to 10th.

The aforementioned Reem raced for Mike de Kock after her initial spell in Australia and was placed twice in the G2 Balanchine and once in the G2 Cape Verdi having also won the Listed Al Bastakiya. From the family of the dual Classic-winning European champion Rodrigo De Triano and fellow sire Modigliani, she has a yearling filly by Pride of Dubai (Aus).

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