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Ain't no stopping Norse King

Report: France, Saturday

Saint-Cloud: Prix Exbury (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+

NORSE KING defied a penalty and a dawdling pace to land the opening Group race of the season in France for owner Jeff Smith

A home-bred son of Smith's King George runner-up Norse Dancer, the five-year-old was settled in midfield by Alexis Badel, while Olivier Peslier was allowed to dictate a leisurely rhythm aboard Singing.

Norse King is something of a giant and took a little while to find his stride half way up the straight before powering home to score by a length and three quarters from Singing, with the patiently-ridden Rose Vista closing fast in third.

Badel has been an integral part in the development of Norse King, who is trained in Chantilly by his mother, Myriam Bollack-Badel.

"In a tactical race I was always happy with my position behind the Fabre horse [Au Revoir]," said the winning jockey. "To make up such a lot of ground on the leaders in such short time is fantastic."

Norse King won over both 1m4f and 1m6f last autumn but Badel said he would be happy to stick the shorter distance of the Exbury. "I prefer him over 2,000 metres [1m2f] so his next race might be the Prix d'Harcourt," he said.

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