King's Trust overcomes injury and fires to make every run count
Advertisement

King's Trust overcomes injury and fires to make every run count

He has been retired once, saved from the January bushfires by his trainer Terry Robinson, and almost retired again a couple of runs into a comeback from two years away from the track. Every race is special for King’s Trust, every win another nugget of gold.

His nine-start career for two wins - one for Peter and Paul Snowden and the other for Robinson in last week’s Highway Handicap at Newcastle - is only a chapter in the book that could be written on the five-year-old, who has also overcome injury to still be racing.

King's Trust races to a fairytale win in the Highway Handicap at Newcastle last Saturday.

King's Trust races to a fairytale win in the Highway Handicap at Newcastle last Saturday.Credit:Getty

A two-year-old winner in town, bad knees looked to have finished his career before he was three but a caring group of owners followed the advice of Peter Snowden.

"One of the blokes in him, Jamie Lobina, has a farm at Berry and said he would look after him after he had the surgery," managing owner Matt King said.

Advertisement

"We all agreed we wanted him to have a good home, but we had the hope he might race again. But it was only a small hope.

"When he had the op they said give him 18 months and see how he is. Peter Snowden said to us 'you really should give him his chance again because he has talent'."

King's Trust had his good life on the farm until last year when bushfires ripped through the south coast. Fearing the farm was in danger, Lobina called Robinson to come and take him to safety.

"It was terrible. It was dark and shocking really when we got him," Robinson said. "He was getting a hell of a lot of smoke like we all were, but the boys just wanted their horse to be safe."

King’s Trust went to what would become his new home of Regal Lodge at Seven Mile Beach in January, but even then racing was not a priority.

"It was something we were thinking about [down the track]," King said. "But the fires set it back a little and in the end probably helped because he had another couple of months off.

"The vet had a look at him a couple of months later and said he was right to have a go."

Robinson put King’s Trust back into work in the middle of the year and could immediately see why Snowden was bullish about his ability. But Robinson had his share of drama before getting the Highway victory last week.

"The problem with him was his knees, they were operated on and he had a very poor prognosis of getting back to the races," Robinson said. "But when we had his knees X-rayed they were fine, so we gave him his chance but it hasn't been smooth sailing.

"He got checked at his first run back at Kembla and then the same thing happened at Nowra and he got a very unusual injury of a nick on the back of his leg above the knee.

Loading

"I had never seen anything like that before and it got infected and I thought 'oh no'. His leg blew right up and I thought his career was over.

"But he came back from that in a couple of weeks and we were able to keep going with him."

King's Trust was having his sixth start for Robinson at Newcastle where he finally got the good track he likes, and now the horseman is thinking about the Country Championships.

"He has just got fitter and stronger with a bit of racing and we saw what he is capable of at Newcastle last weekend," Robinson said.

"Tommy Berry rang me after last Saturday night and said he thought he was a 1400m horse, which is exciting because of the Country Championships.

"I just threw it at him, whether a mile would be all right for him this week, and he said to give it a go, because he is [going] so well at the moment.

"He has drawn poorly [in 13] but he has the ability to overcome that, it will basically come down to if he can run the mile."

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to the Herald's weekday newsletter here and The Age's weekly newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading