Huge field won't worry strapping Puss

STEVEN King is unfazed by the prospect of safely navigating a path to victory on Glamour Puss in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot tonight.

Vastly experienced abroad with Group-race success in Hong Kong, King will ride Ascot's straight course for the first time against up to 29 rivals, including fellow Aussie sprinters Takeover Target and Falkirk.

Ascot's safety limit over the 1000m trip is 30 -- 12 more than allowed down the Flemington straight in sprints. There were 33 nominations.

"The field size won't bother us," King said yesterday.

"Glamour Puss is a big mare and she can handle herself."

Glamour Puss is a $13 chance for the Group 2 feature, which has attracted three contenders from Australia, one from Spain and the cream of British aspirants.

King, who piloted Fairy King Prawn to victory in the 1999 Hong Kong International Sprint, is delighted with Glamour Puss who, along with Falkirk, have been completely overshadowed by Takeover Target in the build-up.

The Newmarket Handicap winner dominates betting at $5 with many of the local bookmakers wary of a repeat of the Choisir sting, when the Aussie sprinter won the 2003 King's Stand at odds of $26.

King said a 2.5kg penalty for a Group 1 win meant Glamour Puss was at a weight disadvantage, but he expected the mare to run well.

"Looking at the English horses, it's hard to line up our form against theirs," King said.

"But if Takeover Target is the benchmark, then I know there's not a great deal between Glamour Puss and him. She looks great and has coped with the trip really well.

"She's got a lot of weight (59kg), it is not her best distance, but she's fresh and I think she can still run a big race. I'm really looking forward to it."

by Leo Schlink - HeraldSun

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