Birdsville maiden winner Real King confirmed his poor barrier manners are hopefully a thing of the past after a sharp win at Ipswich.
The Rob Heathcote prepared four year-old was sent to Roma trainer Craig Smith to mend his wayward barrier manners as a three year-old.
“He always showed ability and was a good barrier horse before he started. Something went wrong for him at his first start at Doomben where he developed a phobia of the gates,” said Grant Morgan from Ontrack.
“Rob tried everything to get him over it, and in the end recommended sending him out west to do some mustering and basically just get away from whatever it was that he was so scared of in relation to the barrier stalls.”
After being taught ‘to be a horse again’, Smith put the Real Saga gelding on a float and sent him to Birdsville where he won his maiden in good style. That was followed by another venture to Surat where he placed second, before Real King headed back to the big smoke and Heathcote’s Eagle Farm stable.
“Full credit to Craig Smith for getting this bloke right as he obviously has a good deal of ability. It goes to show that sometimes you have to think a bit left field to get the best out of some horses,” said Morgan
After two placings in strong Class 1 grade at the Sunshine Coast, Real King was very well placed in BM 0-60 grade at Ipswich where he was sent out a warm $1.50 favourite.
His first attempt on a soft racing surface, Real King gave backers and connections little concern bouncing straight to the lead and holding a commanding advantage throughout before scoring a soft 2.8 length win.
The fast overall time of 1:10.59 and a last 600m split of 34.86 on a Soft 7 surface indicate that Real King may have a bright future.
Real King was purchased privately as a broken in two year-old by Ontrack Thoroughbreds for a group of existing clients.
Congratulations to owners Vicky Heathcote, Bill Clough, John O’Leary, Glynton Chislett, Andrew Black & The Oakleigh Boys Syndicate (Arthur Rickard).