Kingston Town

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for the song by Lord Creator, covered by UB40, see Kingston Town (song)
Kingston Town
Sire Bletchingly
Grandsire Biscay
Dam Ada Hunter (GER)
Damsire Andrea Mantegna (FR)
Sex Gelding
Foaled 1976
Country Australia
Colour Black
Breeder David Hains
Owner David Hains & Mr & Mrs. G Monsborough
Trainer T. J. Smith
Record 41: 30-5-2
Earnings A$1,605,790
Major wins
Group One
Spring Champion Stakes (1979)
Rosehill Guineas (1980)
AJC Derby (1980)
H E Tancred Stakes (1980)
Sydney Cup (1980)
Queensland Derby (1980)
Cox Plate (1980, 1981 & 1982)
George Main Stakes (1981 & 1982)
Caulfield Stakes (1981 & 1982)
Western Mail Classic (1982)
Awards
Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year (1980)
Timeform rating: 137
Honours
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
Kingston Town Classic at Ascot Racecourse
Last updated on 23 October 2009

Kingston Town (31 August 1976 - March 1991) was an outstanding Australian bred Thoroughbred racehorse who won a record three Cox Plates and 11 other Group One races in a career spanning from 1979 to 1982. In 1980 he was awarded the honour of being the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year.

He was by Bletchingly, later a Leading sire in Australia, his dam, Ada Hunter (GER) was by Andrea Mantegna (FR).[1] Ada Hunter was the dam of nine foals, but Private Thoughts (a brother to Kingston Town) was her only other stakes winner. She was later exported to the United States.[2] Kingston Town was bred by David Hains, who sold a share in him to G. Monsborough and his wife after the horse failed to reach his reserve as a yearling.

Racing record[edit]

He was trained throughout his career by Tommy Smith and ridden in 25 of his 30 wins by Malcolm Johnston. Kingston Town made his debut as a two-year-old, and, in his only start as a colt, ran last, but returned as a gelding in the final weeks of the season to win the Round Table Handicap at Rosehill at odds of 33/1. This was the beginning of a six-race winning run, which culminated in his first Group One win, the Spring Champion Stakes. Sent to Melbourne, the 'Sydney Champion', as he was dubbed, could only finish third, fourth, and second, respectively, in the Caulfield Guineas, the Caulfield Cup, and the Victoria Derby. The pattern of consistent success in Sydney and mixed fortunes in Melbourne would be repeated throughout his career: Kingston Town won 21 races from as many starts in Sydney between June 1979 and August 1982, interspersed with four trips to Melbourne, where he won five of his 13 starts.

In the autumn of his three-year-old season, Kingston Town won six races in a row, including the Rosehill Guineas, the Tancred Stakes, the AJC Derby, and the Sydney Cup. At the Brisbane winter carnival, he extended his winning run to eight races by winning twice more, including the Queensland Derby. At season's end, his record stood at 14 wins from 18 starts, and he was named Australia's champion racehorse.

The final 23 starts of Kingston Town's career, which produced a further 16 wins, were unusual in that he only raced at the spring carnivals of 1980, 1981, and 1982, and injury prevented him from campaigning at the 1981, 1982, or 1983 autumn carnivals. Each of the three preparations consisted of winning weight-for-age races in Sydney, such as the Warwick Stakes and the George Main Stakes, often against small fields, before racing in Melbourne. In each of the three years, he won the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, and recorded back-to-back wins in the Caulfield Stakes in 1981 and 1982, but tried and failed to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups on multiple occasions. He was third in the 1980 Caulfield Cup, 20th in the 1981 Melbourne Cup, and runner-up in 1982.

Kingston Town's win in the 1982 Cox Plate was marked by Bill Collins's famously incorrect prognostication that 'Kingston Town can't win', which was hastily revised to '... he might win yet the champ ... Kingston Town's swamping them ... Kingston Town...' According to The Age's Glenn Lester,[3] 'the call is so intricately woven into the "King's" history-making third Cox Plate win that it's difficult to decide which was the most memorable element of the race: the broadcast or the victory itself'. Elsewhere, however, it is described as a 'gaffe',[4] and the replay supports this view in that Kingston Town was within a few lengths of the lead at the time. Greg Miles, however, a well-respected racecaller of longstanding, who was also broadcasting the Cox Plate of 1982, states that he also made the same claim as Collins at almost the same time.

After running his last race in Australia, in November 1982, Kingston Town was sent to America on 15 February 1984 in an attempt to overcome his leg problems, but he did not race in the United States. He was returned to Australia, and, in 1985, an attempt was made to resurrect his career, but he was scratched from his scheduled race and retired.

Retirement[edit]

Along with Carbine, Phar Lap, Bernborough, and Tulloch, Kingston Town was one of five inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. From 30 wins and seven placings from 41 starts, Kingston Town won $1,605,790 in prize money, and was the first horse in Australia to pass the million-dollar barrier. He was given the extraordinary Timeform Rating of 137 - the second highest of any Australian horse in the period (1950s onward).[5] Kingston Town's rating remains well above those of several Cox Plate winners who have won either or both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, including Saintly, Might And Power, Northerly, and Makybe Diva.

In March 1991, Kingston Town was put down after failing to recover from a leg injury that he suffered while playing with another horse, his favourite paddock-mate.

Tabulated pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Kingston Town, black gelding, 1976
Sire
Bletchingly
1970
Biscay (AUS)
1965
Star Kingdom (IRE) 1946 Stardust (GB)
Impromptu (IRE)
Magic Symbol (AUS) 1956 Makarpura (GB)
Magic Wonder (AUS)
Coogee (GB)
1959
Relic (USA) 1945 War Relic (USA)
Bridal Colors (USA)
Last Judgement (GB) 1948 Fair Trial (GB)
Faustina (GB)
Dam
Ada Hunter (GER)
1970
Andrea Mantegna (FR)
1961
Ribot (GB) 1952 Tenerani (ITY)
Romanella (ITY)
Angela Rucellai (GB) 1954 Rockefella (GB)
Aristareta (ITY)
Almah (GB)
1957
Alycidon (GB) 1945 Donatello II (FR)
Aurora (GB)
Gradisca (FR) 1943 Goya (FR)
Phebe (FR) (family: 12-b)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]