Richard Kingscote relishing Knight To Behold Deby ride
27 May 2018
Jockey will be having his first ride in Epsom showpiece aboard emphatic Lingfield winner
Kingscote and Knight To Behold win at Lingfield. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Richard Kingscote believes Knight To Behold has all the attributes to give him a dream first
ride in the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 2.
Kingscote has ridden the son of 2009 Derby winner Sea The Stars in each of his three races
and the combination were emphatic winners of the Betfred Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield this
The Harry Dunlop-trained colt is a general 16-1 chance for the premier Classic, which carries
£1.5 million in prize money and forms part of the 35-race QIPCO British Champions Series.
“The Derby is a massive, iconic race and I’m delighted I’ve got an opportunity to ride in it,”
Kingscote said. “Knight To Behold has done everything right so far and full deserves to take
his chance – it’s not like he’s a maiden who is 200-1. I’m sure his improvement hasn’t
finished and I’d hope he’d run a big race.”
Knight To Behold lost his maiden tag over a mile in a novice event at Newmarket in late
October, having previously been beaten a nose on his debut at Newbury.
However, it was his decisive win on his return at Lingfield, when he beat the Aidan O’Brien-
trained Kew Gardens by three-and-a-quarter lengths, which stamped him as a Derby
contender. Kingscote received plaudits from many observers afterwards for his tactics but
believes he was simply on the best horse.
“Whether it was a good ride or not, I think the horse would have won. He was well on top at
the line,” the 31-year-old said. “Adam (Kirby, on Wax And Wane) got to the front early on
and, like most in that position, wanted to slow it down. My lad was in daylight and wanted to
race, they were going too slow for him to be in his comfort zone.
“I thought there was no point us fighting and I had free rein from Mr Dunlop to do my job, so
I did. Once in front he pricked his ears and enjoyed himself. It worked out well and that high
cruising speed he showed will stand him in good stead at Epsom.”
He added: “We were always comfortable and I think he had more left in tank. He was still a
bit green and looked up at the big screen.
“I’d ridden him probably six weeks before and he did a very good piece of work, so I believed
in his ability and was pleased he was able to stretch away once he got balanced in straight.
He looked good, travelled good, picked up good and he stayed to the line. He couldn’t have
done any more and it has to be a positive that he’s gone the [Derby] distance already.”
Reflecting on his performances as a two-year-old, Kingscote said: “He was extremely
immature. The first time he got beat through greenness and second time he almost got beat
because he just didn’t know what to do off the bridle – he showed he was up for a fight but
just didn’t know how to knuckle down and put the race to bed.
“When I rode him in his piece of work [before Lingfield] I was pleased because he went away
from his lead horse without that hesitation. And at Lingfield he was happy to make his own
running and he stretched away without wandering too much or waiting for the other horses.”
The big crowd and atmosphere at Epsom on Derby day can affect some horses but Kingscote
is hopeful that Knight To Behold will cope with the demands.
The married dad of two, whose tally of more than 900 winners include a Derby day win on
Pasaka Boy five years ago, said: “They say the Derby is the ultimate test and because those
in it are relatively young and inexperienced horses that is a big part of it.
“Derby day is only time I’ve ever noticed the crowd – when you turn in you really are aware
of them. So it is a big deal but Harry and his team done a great job at home minding him. He
was very well behaved at Lingfield, so I can’t see it being a big problem.”