The Press

Smith a happy chappy


Kings Of Leon has finally found his racing rhythm for trainer Matthew Smith, who is keen to learn if the gelding can continue to make up for lost time.

The three-year-old is the early favourite for today’s Winx Is Coming Handicap (1200m) at Randwick but Smith admits he hasn’t always been the pick of his Warwick Farm team.

‘‘He was wayward as a young horse and that has kind of held him back because he was doing things wrong,’’ Smith said.

Kings Of Leon made an inauspicio­us start to his career with two failures in his first preparatio­n, although being gelded before his next campaign prompted some improvemen­t after multiple gear changes.

‘‘I had blinkers on him, crossover nosebands. I had all sorts of gear of gear on him but we took it all off,’’ Smith said.

‘‘We’ve kept it simple this time in and he’s been going really good.’’

Kings Of Leon is third-up this weekend and backing up from a last-start win at Warwick Farm over 1100 metres on July 8.

That effort encouraged Smith to step him up to 1200m for the first time.

‘‘He’s in good shape,’’ Smith said.

‘‘It’s a nice step up for him and he may go further.’’

Smith had also nominated Kings Of Leon for another Benchmark Handicap (1200m) but opted to run against a field of seasoned rivals.

‘‘The race just looked a little bit easier,’’ he said.

‘‘There were probably a few more up and comers in the other one. That’s what it came down to.’’ ❚ AAP

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