Blueblood King aiming to Star again in G1 Caulfield Guineas

When Grant Williams devised the idea for Stable Of Stars, his objective was to present racing fans with the chance to experience the thrill of racing well-bred horses without a massive outlay.

The concept, which is based around leasing as opposed to buying and syndicating horses, was five years in the making and Williams took the plunge in April last year.

He didn’t dare contemplate celebrating Group 1 success with his third runner, which is what happened when King Colorado carried the black and gold Stable Of Stars colours to victory in this year’s JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane.

The same horse will chase another elite-level success in this Saturday’s $3 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.

“The ride we’ve had with him already has been insane,” Williams said.

“He’s the first horse we had to the track, so to win a Group 1 at his third start and now be lining up as a good chance in a second Group 1 in a Caulfield Guineas is just madness.”

Williams considers himself blessed to have been given the opportunity to share the ride with Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who bred and owns King Colorado.

The J J Atkins win made the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt the first Australian Group 1 winner for in-demand Juddmonte stallion Kingman and the latest for one of the world’s all-time great female families.

King Colorado is out of the More Than Ready mare More Aspen, who was brought to Australia carrying King Colorado.

More Aspen is from the unraced Jade Hunter mare Jade Aspen, who is one of 10 foals from Northern Aspen, a Group 1 winner on the track who is out of the legendary Fall Aspen.

Fall Aspen had 13 to race, 12 of whom were winners, including US Champion 2YO colt and Preakness Stakes winner Timber Country, July Cup winner Hamas, Grand Prix de Paris winner Fort Wood and Bianconi, a successful stallion whose son Nicconi is the sire of Nature Strip.

Fall Aspen is also the dam of French Group 2 winner Colorado Dancer, the dam of Dubai World Cup winner Dubai Millennium, who is the sire of Dubawi.

This year’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks winner Affaire A Suivre, a stablemate to King Colorado, is also connected to the family, with her dam Laurelling a granddaughter of Fall Aspen.

Williams had worked closely with Segenhoe Stud’s Peter O’Brien while setting up Stable Of Stars and it was O’Brien who Williams turned to for advice when the offer to lease King Colorado arose.

“I’d spoken with Ciaron Maher while I was doing my research and Gabrielle Nutt, who was the racing manager for Ciaron, gave me a call and said, ‘I’ve got a really nice horse for you, it’s from Segenhoe,” Williams said.

“So I rang Peter O’Brien and told him about it and he said, ‘you have to take this colt, Grant. He’s just magnificent’.

“He was going to be going to the Easter Sale, but he had a problem on x-rays on a stifle, and Peter O’Brien, Ciaron Maher’s vet and Ciaron himself all said not to worry about that because it wouldn’t be an issue in a few months.

“They said, ‘he’s a half-million-dollar yearling, you’ve got to take him’.”

Williams did and welcomed in 47 separate Stable Of Stars shareholders, 38 of whom had never raced a horse.

Maher issued encouraging updates all the way through, which is why he was happy to head to the J J Atkins off a Kembla Grange maiden win and he justified that faith with victory after being backed from $31 to $14.

King Colorado’s only two runs this campaign have been in Group 1 races, an unlucky ninth placing in the Winx Stakes (1400m) and a seventh placing in the Golden Rose (1400m), but he now gets back to 1600m for the first time since his J J Atkins win.

“The stable keep telling me that they are really happy with him,” Williams said.

“It’s a really classy Guineas field this year, but we believe we can win it.”

King Colorado has the services of Michael Dee in the Guineas, for which he occupies a spot on the third line of betting, with the pair to jump from barrier eight.

About RS NewsWire

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