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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.
Here we have a lightly raced, improving gelding IMPERIAL KNIGHT. 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), this young, improving gelding who has next to no miles on the clock, still has more than two thirds of his career ahead of him. 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. 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.
There should be numerous wins in him over hurdles and fences, with any luck. Ben thinks he’s especially well handicapped and it’s something we should really be able to exploit.
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
Training Update: Unexposed jumper who looks like he’s destined to have an interesting season. Sure fire future winner over hurdles and fences from his 122-handicap mark. Just touched off last Saturday over 3m. He should make amends next time. Still a novice over both hurdles and fences. Lovely NH horse to have in board.
Syndicate manager Tom says: "He ran a nice race at Huntingdon last time out, taking 3rd and he ran right to the line which gives us options going forward, as we can look at just about anything from 2 and half to 3 miles. Ben suggests, that his day in the sun will not be far away! There is a lot of racing over the festive period and therefore a lot of options for him coming up. We see him as a lovely novice chaser going forward this season." TIMEFORM RATED; Hurdle 119. His race entries/declarations will show on this page.
Here's Ben with his season preview video of Imperial Knight:
Here he is having a pop over three fences: