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Non-sale proves blessing in disguise

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Initial disappointment at Karaka with Kingsguard (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}) has long been forgotten as he chases Group 1 glory at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Kiwi-owned 6-year-old was set for the Aquis Toorak H., some time ago by Team Hawkes and he goes into the sternest test of his career in good heart and a last-start second in the G2 Shannon S.

“I bred him with the stud and he didn’t meet his reserve so we decided to race him,” said Windsor Park Stud general manager Steve Till.

Originally named His Majesty (NZ) and trained by Chris McNab, the gelding came to form early which prompted his relocation.

“We always knew he was talented and that’s why we moved him to Australia and he hasn’t let the side down.” - Steve Till.

Kingsguard winning at Rosehill

“We always knew he was talented and that’s why we moved him to Australia and he hasn’t let the side down,” Till said.

Also sharing the ownership is Johnny Schick, whose parents Nelson and Sue and his brother Rodney own Windsor Park.

“Johnny was looking to get involved in a horse and he came in after Kingsguard ran second to Xtravagant at Ellerslie at his third start and he brought some of his clients in,” Till said.

“Johnny supplies a lot of roading, forestry and shipping outfits with wire ropes. He’s a significant player in that business and doing exceptionally well.”

Gold Cup success

Kingsguard has since won five races, including the G3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup during his last preparation.

“He’s going really well and he’s been a wonderfully consistent horse,” Till said. “He gets in with 52kg and he’s drawn well. We’ve got everything crossed, they don’t give away Group 1s.

“We’re realistic about our chances in a Group 1, you need everything to go your way. If he’s in the same form as he was for the Shannon, and his trainers think he is and there’s no better than them, then he’s a hope.”

“We’re realistic about our chances in a Group 1, you need everything to go your way.” – Steve Till.

Kingsguard is the first foal of Her Royal Highness (NZ) (Volksraad {GB}), who won her first two races from Peter McKay’s stable.

“When she came back for another campaign Pete said, which was good of him, that we might want to try something different with her,” Till said.

“He thought she needed to be freshened up, perhaps she’d gone a bit stale, so we sent her to Jakki Good, who trained on the beach and she had trained for us previously.

“Jakki ended up winning a stakes race with her, the Wairarapa Breeders’ S., which was a big thrill.”

Pedigree notes

She is out of the Last Tycoon (IRE) mare Grand Princess, a daughter of the G3 Taranaki 2YO Classic winner Grand Jette (NZ) (Spectacular Love (USA).

It is also the family of the Listed Maribyrnong Trial winner Sweet Cheeks (General Nediym).

Her Royal Highness’ juvenile by Charm Spirit (IRE) will be offered as Lot 49 by Windsor Park during New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale at Karaka next month.

Kingsguard as a yearling