Kingdoms returned to the races for the first time since the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with an impressive victory in the 2014 Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Open Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
Kingdoms was having his first race start for Brian Smith and the veteran trainer admitted before the race that he was confident that the High Chaparral gelding was capable of scoring a first-up victory.
Belle De Coeur hit the front at the 300 metre mark and looked as though she had the race won, but she faded on her run in the final stages of the race, while Kingdoms was extremely strong on the line to claim his third career win.
Jockey Larry Cassidy gave Kingdoms a perfect ride, but he was quick to pay credit to the training performance of Smith and said that it had taken plenty of hard work to get the four-year-old back to the races in strong form.
“He caught us all by surprise,” Cassidy said.
“Riding him in trackwork he tries to lean out a little bit and we couldn’t get a line on him and when I rode him in a trial all he wanted to do was run off.
“There has been an enormous amount of work go into him, not so much by me, but by everyone concerned.
“Brian Smith has gone a great job and everybody that rides him in work has just done a great job with him.
“Today it has just worked out perfectly.
Kingdoms finished third behind It’s A Dundeel in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and Smith believes that his promising stayer is a very similar horse to the recently retired six-time Group 1 winner.
“Larry rode him well and he kept a straight line in the straight today after being out wide and that was our main concern because in the past he hasn’t,” Smith said.
“He is only a little horse, but he is very much like It’s A Dundeel; I love a light framed stayer and he was just cruisy there in the birdcage and he went out there and did nothing wrong.
“To see him finish it off and do that over a mile today was great.
Kingdoms is set to have his next race start in the Listed Tatt’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben on July 12 before heading to Sydney for a spring preparation.