Imperial Knight, by Mahler

Trainer: Ben Pauling Race type: Jumps
Age: 8 yr old Description: Bay Gelding
Download pedigree View racing post form

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Race entries

Ever since leaving Nicky Henderson's tutelage to set up on his own, Ben Pauling has been very adept at sourcing high quality animals for very reasonable prices.  He's tasted Grade 1 success on more than one occasion with more than one horse and his success is typified by horses such as Barters Hill, Willoughby Court, Kildisart, Global Citizen, A Hare Breath and Gowiththeflow. 

We've been looking to place the right horse with Ben for over 12 months now and we're sure we've hit on the right recipe for success in the shape of the lightly raced, improving gelding IMPERIAL KNIGHT. By the progressive young sire MAHLER;, the sire of Bob Mahler, Ok Corral, Ms Parfois and Sutton Place and out of a BOB BACK mare (Bobs Worth, Roberto Goldback, Burton Port), this young, improving 7yo gelding who has next to no miles on the clock, still has more than two thirds of his career ahead of him.

Sire update (February 2020): "Beeches Stud sire Mahler continued a terrific season by siring a string of notable winners over the weekend"

From the family of Imperial Call, he stands at a sizeable 16.2hh and is tailor made for fences, when that day comes. He's in form at the moment and is ready to win this summer but having just purchased him privately, we have decided to wait for the NH season, proper, for him to debut in our silks. We have the option of racing over hurdles for 2019-2020, although it's very tempting to go straight novice chasing with all the excitement that brings. He's built for and bred to excel at that discipline. Having spoken to Ben and having studied both his pedigree and form we believe he has the potential to be rated at least a stone higher than he is to date as he matures and as he tackles fences. His optimum distance is impossible to predict, but we see him as a thorough stayer and he could be cherry ripe for staying hurdles and chases, given he's from a very stout pedigree; his dam won over 3 miles. If our predictions about his potential and stamina are correct, you could easily see him making up into a Grand National candidate, be that Aintree or the other Nationals such as the Scottish or Welsh versions that are so popular these days. 

Unlike purchasing an unraced store horse, there is no necessity for waiting for this horse to mature; he's a ready-made runner/winner for the 2020/21 NH season, yet he remains open to significant improvement still. There should be numerous wins in him over hurdles and fences, with any luck. He has been fully vetted and he passed our stringent checks. He has only come on the market, given that his previous owners are having to scale back their NH involvement and Ben was desperate to keep the horse in the yard, rather than send him to the sales and risk losing him. 

We've had to drive a hard bargain to secure such a young and potential improver given our budget, but we believe our hard work is to his new syndicate's advantage, going forward. He's the perfect horse for any owner wishing to get into syndicate ownership for the first time. He's as risk free as any NH purchase could be, he's still young, he's got very decent form in the book, and he remains open to significant improvement still, according to his trainer. 

He has been placed on every completed outing under rules, he is still learning his craft, but he's open to any amount of improvement as he continues to mature and as we step him up in distance. Ben thinks he’s especially well handicapped and it’s something we should really be able to exploit. He’s tailor made for big novice handicaps and he says that he has to be one of the nicest Maiden hurdlers with a mark.

Trainer Update: He returned to hurdles for his second start for us last time out, running a cracker at Haydock, to place 2nd in the Old Boston handicap hurdle over the extended 3 miles. He relished the ground and jumped and travelled like a dream, just getting caught in the last few strides. I'm sure you will agree he looked every inch the winner! Watch the replay here: Ben was delighted with what he showed and there's some fun for his owners to be had with him!

Syndicate Manager Update (5th August): "Imperial Knight has enjoyed being turned out on the spring grass and returns to Ben's today. He has been cantering for a couple of weeks and there have been no issues with him, so he'll be back schooling and we'll let Ben have a look at him and make a race plan. The handicapper has very kindly only put him up 2lbs from his last race, so we see him as a lovely novice chaser this year." 

Here he is cantering away (in front):


August House
Appleyard Drive
North Lincolnshire
DN18 5TD


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