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 purchased IMPERIAL KNIGHT as a lightly raced, improving gelding, who has next to no miles on the clock. By the progressive young sire MAHLER; https://coolmore.com/stallions/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), he only came 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.
From the family of Imperial Call, he stands at a sizeable 16.2hh and is tailor made for fences-he's built for and bred to excel at that discipline. His optimum distance is impossible to predict, but we see him as a thorough stayer, 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.
Sire update: "Beeches Stud sire Mahler continued a terrific season by siring a string of notable winners over the weekend" https://coolmore.com/farms/nationalhunt/news/mahler-makes-it-a-weekend-to-remember
Racing Update: He’s one of the most consistent horses we have on our books. How on earth he has yet to win a race for us, heaven only knows? He just keeps bumping into one, or occasionally 2. Take yesterday for example, given a great ride into the race by the 7lbs apprentice, he only found the 4/5F too good and he pulled well clear of the 3rd horse. Timeform say, in their post race analysis: "Attracted support and proved better than ever back under a 7 lb claimer, no match for the winner but comfortably on top of the others; in touch, travelled well, went prominent 4 out, led when not fluent 2 out, headed approaching last, no match for odds-on favourite; he's one to be interested in." Sure to win for us shortly (famous last words) with just an ounce of a change of luck. There’s probably no more deserving maiden in training, of winning a race, than Imperial Knight. His owners have been fabulous, they’re all grinning and bearing his seconditis, and any new owners could just help him with a deserved change of luck. He will be effective over both hurdles and possibly chases over the course of this Summer. He races regularly and is a fabulous, fun horse to have on board the team.
Here's Ben and Imperial Knight this morning after his super run yesterday:
Here he is having a pop over three fences: