King’s Way Is Bons Away

Ken King and connections celebrate the win of Bons Away in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes.

Ken King (centre) and connections celebrate the win of Bons Away in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (Racing Photos)


Ken King was one happy face in the crowd at Caulfield on Saturday.

Bons Away had just won the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes over 1200m and King was quickly swamped in the winners’ enclosure by grateful owners.

Not only did King breed Bons Away, he syndicated the now 4YO who is also by the King purchased and syndicated, Group One winner, Bon Hoffa.

So, did King celebrate accordingly? “Umm, not so much,” King reveals. “I had a couple of sherbets but had to duck home to the farm (at Euroa) because we’ve got some mares foaling.”

Such is the life of the breeder (especially at this time of year!) but King is hardly complaining.

“We breed from around 15 mares annually and keep the foals – in the main – for racing,” King adds. “We must be doing something right because we’ve had over 100 individual winners under the Ken King Thoroughbreds banner since kicking off around 15 years ago and Bons Away is our 14th individual stakes winner. Some 21 black type wins all up.

“I purchased Bons Away’s dam, Villa Albani, from the 2012 Inglis Great Southern with the specific intention of sending her to Bon Hoffa, who is by Belong To Me. Villa Albani, in turn, is out of a Belong To Me mare (Villa Valencia) and lot of people wanted to tell me the Belong To Me was too close up to send her to a Belong To Me stallion.

“I was happy to give it a crack though and besides, she was going to Bon Hoffa on one of my noms so I didn’t have to pay for the service fee!

“Turns out she produced an absolutely cracking foal and I got a lot of the same people that are in Set Square (VRC Oaks) and Bon Aurum (Rupert Clarke) into Bons Away, so it’s probably fair to say that they’re pretty happy with me at the moment.”

Trained by Ciaron Maher, Bons Away has won four in succession and takes his career tally to five wins and two placings from nine outings.

Bons Away is also the third stakes winner for Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner, Bon Hoffa, who stands alongside, Bullet Train, Myboycharlie and Walking or Dancing at John North’s Bowness Stud.

“He (Bon Hoffa) had a good day on Saturday,” North points out. “He also had Don’t Give a Damn win the TAB Highway at Rosehill, while Delivered (second in the Highway) and Bonsley (fourth) are also by Bon Hoffa.

“He stands for just $5,500 and gets a lot of winners. Actually, for a horse that is ranked so highly on the sires’ table (currently 33rd by winners and 36th by earnings) he tends to fly under the radar a bit.”

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