Horse Racing: Trainer Alan King confirms Smad Place plans


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Trainer Alan King has confirmed that Smad Place will not race again this season after a “hard race” at the Cheltenham Festival.

The nine-year-old finished sixth in the Gold Cup, with Don Cossack eventually winning for trainer Gordon Elliott.

A quick pace was apparent from the off and Smad Place pushed too hard with jockey Wayne Hutchinson on board. He eventually fell away from the front of the pack but still managed to finish the race at Prestbury Park.

The grey enjoyed a good start to 2016 after comfortably winning a trial race at Cheltenham on January 30. He ended 2015 with two wins in November on both good and soft ground before a fourth-placed finish at Kempton, but now King has decided to give him a rest.

He will now go for glory again in the 2016-17 campaign, with the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury King’s first target.

“Smad Place is finished for the season,” he said. “Ridden the way he was, he was never going to win a Gold Cup – he was never going to have anything left, going out there all guns blazing.

“He had a hard race in the Gold Cup, but I was still very proud of him. He has had a great season and when he comes back in next season I think we will train him for the Hennessy again.

“To be fair, the Cotswold Chase was probably his Gold Cup – that was the race where everything fell right for him.”

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