It has been two years since Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum added Kevin to his training ranks and since then there has been some good success. The famous yellow silks have become commonplace in the north and Kevin has put together a nice team that looks promising for the future. Although most of the team has been forced from the yearling sales, Sheikh Obaid has also sent some lovely home bred horses. Obviously all winners are important but sometimes there is a little added excitement when you can keep the family’s winning traditions. Throne Hall got off the mark when returning to action at Hamilton, winning the 1m1f Stay At Our Onsite Hotel Maiden Stakes.
The son of Kingman is a 1/2 brother to couple of good handicappers, with Appeared reaching a high of 104. Throne Hall was a strong, athletic colt but it was clear early on that he would appreciate a trip in time. His homework had shown that he had plenty of ability and Kevin was keen to get race experience into him when he was ready. The opportunity came at Haydock where Throne Hall tackled 7f and finished a very creditable 3rd. It was a run full of promise but he wouldn’t have the chance to back that up until his 3yo season.
Again Throne Hall pleased at home but Kevin didn’t rush to getting the colt back on the track. There were plenty of races for Throne Hall so it was a case of choosing the most suitable and the 1m1f Maiden at Hamilton was selected. Although Throne Hall had shaped like he may want a trip in time the 1m1f would be a stiff enough test but not too testing for his first run back for 371 days. He would be facing 10 rivals but there was a trio of runners whose form was clearly the best on show. Kevin Stott was booked for the ride.
Throne Hall’s main market rivals had handicap marks of 78 and 75 so the standard was set for what he would need to run up to. Punters were undecided who of the three would be sent off favourite but the closer it got to the off, the more support arrived for Throne Hall. He would be sent off the 15/8f by the time the stalls opened. Throne Hall was out like a shot and jumped to the lead but Kevin wanted a little bit of help so did not force the issue. On the inside Taramanda was pushed to the front whilst the second fav Reemannie swooped around the outside to take the overall lead. Kevin happily let his rivals go which afforded him the opportunity of cover. As they race through the early stages they headed uphill swinging right handed around the loop of Hamilton Park. The leader set a decent gallop and Throne Hall found himself 2-3 lengths away in third after the first couple of furlongs.
Rounding the turn Kevin had squeezed his mount around the outer to take up second position. He had made up the 2 lengths deficit and sat on the leader’s girths at the top of the hill and entering the home straight. Bring the field inside the 5f pole Reemannie could now free wheel along downhill. Kevin was keen to stick with the leader but there were just a couple of signs of inexperience coming from Throne Hall. Passing the halfway point Throne Hall was sat within the perfect striking distance but Kevin just had to change his hands a couple of times, ensuring the colt remained balanced. With the confidence that his mount would stay the trip, Kevin knew that if he could keep him together down the hill, Throne Hall should come good for him heading up the stiff finish.
The pace quickened moving inside the 3f and it was shown by some of the outsiders who began to struggle. Throne Hall remained as the leader’s shadow but now War Defender (5/2 third choice) was moving through travelling well. Kevin just had to give his mount the hurry up for a stride, getting him to quicken his pace and match the leader. The race was beginning to take shape and Kevin got lower in the saddle to begin winding Throne Hall up. Lengthening his stride the colt moved up alongside the leader who quickly reacted to pressure. Heading past the 2f marker the first four had a break on the rest and looked set to fight out the order.
Kevin had got the colt lengthening and striding out but now he needed him go and finish his race. The stick was used to change leads and Throne Hall did just that, moving up a gear to stick his nose into the lead. Once Throne Hall had taken the advantage, Reemannie couldn’t respond. Kevin was asking his mount for everything whilst trying to educate the colt. Throne Hall began to pull away and his lead started to grow. They were heading towards the rising ground and Throne Hall was learning with every stride. He gained a couple of lengths lead but War Defender was trying to finish and looked to be the one who could possibly spoil the party.
The final furlong was going to be a test but Throne Hall was now really understanding what his jockey was asking. The gap to War Defender and whilst the rest started to toil up the hill, the leading duo was coming on strong. Kevin was making sure Throne Hall kept up to the task at hand. The further they went the stronger he was and was thriving over the extra distance. Kevin afforded himself a look over the shoulder 100 yards from home and liked what he saw. Knowing his mount had plenty in the the tank and his rival wasn’t finishing better than he was, Kevin could ease down a little. Slowly calming down his drive and then letting his mount drift in, Throne Hall completed the job but a comfortable 2 lengths.
Horses with the profile of Throne Hall are very exciting when they return to action. They shape as though they will better with time and distance so it was really nice to see him off the mark at the first try this year. He has shown ability and is very unexposed so the potential is high with Throne Hall. During the race he show signs of immaturity but the further they went the more he switched on and learnt. The winning margin could possibly have been greater and it will be interesting to see what mark he will now receive. Throne Hall is a nice prospect and should just better with each and every run.