King Of Rooks
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Royal Ascot 2015: Norfolk Stakes preview (14.30)

| 18.06.2015

King Of Rooks was hugely impressive when scoring last time out, and looks a worthy favourite to land a weak looking renewal of the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt shaped with bags of promise on debut at Ascot when third to Steady Pace, travelling like much the best horse for most of the contest until being outpaced by the winner inside the final furlong.

Although beaten three lengths, King Of Rooks was tenderly handled by jockey Richard Hughes and showed the benefit of that experience when bolting up next time out by six lengths over 6f at Newbury.

The son of Acclamation showed bags of speed in the latter to race at the head of affairs, before easing clear inside the last furlong to win with any amount in hand.

King Of Rooks was then pitched into Listed company and destroyed a good field of juveniles in the National Stakes at Sandown over 5f when last seen in action.

After being very quickly away, King Of Rooks made all an quickened right away in the final furlong to beat Buratino by five lengths.

The runner-up has gone on to score twice since, and in the last of those landed the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at this meeting in good style.

That gives the form an ultra-solid look, and sets a clear standard in this 5f contest.

With the prospect of even better to come, King Of Rooks is going to be very hard to beat in the hands of jockey Frankie Dettori.

Hannon also saddles Log Out Island who created a huge impression when winning on debut and looks the obvious danger.

The colt made all and quickened clear inside the final furlong to beat Handytalk by 4 1/2 lengths over course and distance, and had the aforementioned Buratino a further length back in third.

It was a most taking performance which marked Log Out Island out as an above average sort, and on a line through Buratino there is not much to choose between him and King Of Rooks.

However, Buratino has improved dramatically since that run and I feel lack of experience could count againt Log Out Island on this occasion.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.