8yo finds new Dimension in King Edward

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

July 2nd, 2016

Dimension has found the proverbial fountain of youth as an 8-year-old. A credit to trainer Conor Murphy, who campaigns him in the name of his Riverside Bloodstock, the British-bred gelding earned his second straight Grade 2 victory at Woodbine in Saturday’s $164,484 King Edward (G2).

Coming off a strong last-to-first success in the June 5 Connaught Cup (G2) at his favorite trip – seven furlongs – Dimension had time on his hands ahead of his main objective, the August 20 Play the King (G2). So Murphy entered him in the one-mile King Edward primarily as a stepping stone, and saw him thrive at a distance that’s been a shade too far for him for most of his career. Hence his 17-1 odds on Saturday, which produced a $37.10 windfall for his loyalists.

Dimension had won at a mile once before, but you had to dig deep in his CV to find it. That came five years ago, in his maiden score over Kempton’s Polytrack, for trainer James Fanshawe. Since Murphy purchased him from privately from breeder Cheveley Park Stud and imported him in the summer of 2013, Dimension’s liabilities at a mile had become even more evident.

Until now. Much more relaxed these days, Dimension settled beautifully near the rear of the field for Davy Moran, and that’s made the difference.

Up front, Smokem Kitten for some reason found it necessary to engage 60-1 longshot Hammerstein through fast fractions of :22.76 and :45.53. Smokem Kitten has early speed as needed, but with another committed, he would have been better served to stalk. Unfortunately, the Ramsey colorbearer was spent by his pace-forcing trip and faded to fifth. Smokem Kitten can be forgiven this blip on the radar.

For that same reason, Solemn Tribute deserves credit for his gallant second after chasing the pace on the outside. He briefly grabbed the lead and reached the six-furlong mark in 1:09.51, but Dimension had already whipped around the turn in high gear.

Sweeping by with a decisive move in the stretch, Dimension forged 1 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:133.19 on the firm course.

Defending champion Tower of Texas, not seen since his seventh in last September’s Woodbine Mile (G1), flashed home from last for a fine third. He just failed to overtake the stubborn Solemn Tribute by a head for second. This was just the right sort of comeback that should set him up well for a productive summer.

The report card on Full Mast, only fourth as the even-money favorite, is less clear. The Juddmonte homebred ran fairly evenly and never looked like seriously threatening. After his terrific U.S. debut for Bill Mott going seven furlongs at Belmont, you’d have thought that this one-turn mile would suit. If you’re looking for a glass-half-full approach, his effort suggests he might prefer two turns in better company. That wouldn’t be a great surprise for a colt with his depth of pedigree who prospered over Longchamp’s seven furlongs as a juvenile when winning the Prix La Rochette (G3) outright and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) via disqualification. Perhaps it’s clutching at straws, and I’d normally pounce on an excuse to cast aspersions on the old Gleneagles/Territories form. But I’ve been a fan of his from the start, and am not letting go that easily.

Dimension’s scorecard now stands at 33-7-6-1, $560,428. Prior to this season’s Grade 2 double, he’d landed the 2013 Play the King and the 2014 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash. He’ll try to regain his Play the King title next, and although his tilts at the 2013-14 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) didn’t pan out, the 8-year-old model of Dimension might find Santa Anita’s downhill a happier prospect this November.

Dimension is a Medicean half-brother to Spacious, a multiple Group 2 winner and classic-placed performer who rated as Ireland’s highweight older mare (in the seven to 9 1/2-furlong category) in 2010.

Photo courtesy WEG/Michael Burns Photography.