From the moment he walked into Carlburg Stables in February 2023, King Of Steel caught the eye. The strapping steel grey son of Wootton Bassett joined Varian Stable at the start of his three-year-old season, having raced twice as a juvenile under the care of David Loughnane - including an impressive 4¾L success on debut, which hinted at the talent that lay beneath.
King Of Steel’s first racecourse appearance came in the G2 Dante Stakes, but an upset in the stalls meant that his first racecourse performance would come just over 2 weeks later in the Epsom Derby, and what a performance that was. Sent off as a 66/1 outsider, King Of Steel put in an almighty run, sending pulses racing as he led the field into the final furlong of Britain’s premier Classic, just getting collared late on by Auguste Rodin in a finish that was thrilling and heartbreaking in equal measure - so close!
If he hadn’t been on people’s radar before, he certainly was after Epsom. And there were plenty cheering him home next time out, as he ran out a scintillating winner of the G2 King Edward VII Stakes under Kevin Stott at Royal Ascot - a fitting first Group victory for the King!
His next two starts would come in Group One company, contesting the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes - but he would have to wait until Champions Day to claim his crown.
What a day that proved to be. The stage was set, with Frankie Dettori taking the reins for his last ride in the UK at the finale of his farewell tour. The duo delivered a nerve-wracking watch, sitting plum last for most of the 1m2f contest. 2f from home, we began to wonder - could they? Frankie pulled King Of Steel wide and the steely superstar began to roll, opening up into his ground-eating stride as the crowd roared them home. In a thrilling finish, King Of Steel just pipped Via Sistina to the post. A fairytale day for King Of Steel, Amo Racing, and Frankie Dettori.