King George takeaway: all you need as Adayar strikes at Ascot for Godolphin and the Classic generation

By HRP team

So you know Adayar became the first Derby winner for 20 years to follow up in the Qipco-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and continue Charlie Appleby’s amazing run with his Godolphin three-year-olds. Here are the details, plus some other stuff you might be interested in – quotes, video and tweets.

What’s going on?


Ascot (July 24): King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes G1 £875,000, 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
1 Adayar 9-4
Big, strong, galloping type continues to progress with emphatic victory; powerful effort, going away at finish; received weight from elders
2 Mishriff 13-2
Gallant effort, ridden to move alongside 2f out but not going as easily as winner; cut back to 1m2f a good idea?
3 Love 13-8f
Things didn’t pan out as pacemaker Broome missed break but still found little for pressure and always held in straight
5 ran (Wonderful Tonight nr). Margins: 1¾l, 1¾l, 6l
Time: 2m26.64s (good to firm)

Horse Racing Adayar King George Ascot
Adayar (William Buick) wins the G1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot. Photo: Great British Racing

About the winner

Pedigree: 3 bc Frankel – Anna Salai (Dubawi)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Jockey: William Buick
Owner: Godolphin
Breeder: Godolphin

Background: Godolphin homebred clearly going from strength to strength as he matures; big, strong, galloping type stepped up on previous form to become first Derby winner for his sire Frankel, having been beaten in trials at both Sandown and Lingfield.

On the record

Adayar is the first Derby winner to win the King George since Galileo in 2001, though only three have tried since: Kris Kin (3rd 2003), Workforce (5th 2010) and Anthony Van Dyck (10th 2019). He is the 14th colt to win the Derby and the King George in the same season.

Neither trainer Charlie Appleby nor jockey William Buick have won the midsummer showpiece in the past – but Godolphin were winning the race for the sixth time, although Lammtarra (1995) carried the silks of Sheikh Maktoum’s son Sheikh Saeed, back in the early days when not every horse representing the Dubai team was in the royal blue. The other four Godolphin winners, all in the team livery, were Swain (1997, 1998), Daylami (1999) and Doyen (2004).

What’s next? Targets and betting

Appleby Arc/Leger dilemma

With such strength in depth Charlie Appleby has the dilemma of how to place his Derby winners Adayar and Hurricane Lane over the rest of the campaign and, having previously identified Adayar as his St Leger candidate, it looks like Hurricane Lane will be set that mission.

“Conversations will have to be had,” the trainer said. “We are in a very privileged position to have Hurricane Lane and Adayar.

“The likelihood is that this horse will be aimed towards the Arc with maybe the Prix Niel before but Hurricane Lane will head towards the St Leger. If he happens to win the St Leger in the fashion we feel the Arc is achievable, we will regroup then.”

Arc betting (Coral): 4 Snowfall, 5 Adayar, 6 Hurricane Lane, 8 St Mark’s Basilica, Wonderful Tonight, 9 Tarnawa, 10 Love, 14 Mishriff, 16 Chrono Genesis, 20 bar

St Leger betting (Ladbrokes): 5-4 Hurricane Lane, 7-2 Adayar, 5 Wordsworth, 7 Lone Eagle, 8 Alenquer, 12 bar

Snap reaction

William Buick: “He gives you the feel of endless power and it’s a privilege to ride a horse like this because they don’t come around very often.”

Any other business

What’s another year?

Charlie Appleby left open the possibility that both Adayar and Hurricane Lane could stay in training next year, and not necessarily follow the usual route of Classic winners and head to stud.

“Both Adayar and Hurricane Lane are two lovely big scopey Frankels,” he said. “If you were privileged to see them day in day out you would only be dreaming of their four-year-old careers. One would hope they have plenty of improvement from three to four.”

Charlie Appleby misses the ‘Ping’ George

Despite the lifting of restrictions which enabled a crowd of 15,000 to watch the King George in person, Appleby was stuck in Newmarket, having been told to isolate after getting pinged by his Covid-19 app.

“I was pinged on Wednesday,” he said. “It’s a scenario anyone can encounter and everyone abides by the rules. Thankfully I am released as of tomorrow so I can go and see the horse and I am looking forward to going to Goodwood next week.”

Weight-for-age pivotal

Mishriff will drop down in distance again for the Juddmonte International after his performance behind Adayar, in which weight-for-age again proved decisive – not that John Gosden had any complaints.

“I love to see the three-year-olds take on the oldies,” he said. “I was lucky enough to win it with Nathaniel, Taghrooda and Enable as three-year-olds. It’s a lot of weight. I said that after the Eclipse where it was 10lb. Here it was 11lb.”

Love comes unstuck

There was to be no romantic ending for Royal Ascot winner Love on her return to the scene of her Prince of Wales’s Stakes success. Her pacemaker Broome missed the break and when Ryan Moore produced her to challenge she ran with her tongue out and head to one side.

Aidan O’Brien had very little to say afterwards. “She ran a good race,” he said. “We’ll see how she is and then make a plan. It was a bit of a mess the whole thing but I’m not going to take anything away from the winner.”

Shall we talk about it?

Charlie Appleby, trainer of Adayar: “It’s been 20 years since the great Galileo won the Derby and the King George and this horse deserves all the plaudits he will get. I told Will to jump to make it. He’s too big from the gate to be able to make it and from then on I was sure someone would take it off him. Turning for home the race was on.
“He put himself in the firing line and galloped well to the line. Adayar has taken one of the spectacles of the calendar year. We have to take account he has that weight allowance, but he has that for a reason. I was confident he would not look like a three-year-old among those horses. On what he has achieved, he is by far the most superior mile-and-a-half horse I have trained.”

William Buick, winning jockey:He jumped better than I expected. The eventual leader missed the break so came around us which just set me alight a bit but I wasn’t really that bothered. He had that kick at the top of the straight and he just did what we saw at Epsom. He had that resolute gallop all the way to the line. We all thought he was a good Derby winner and he has just confirmed that today against the older horses.
It’s great to win another King George, and on a Derby winner. It’s a feat that doesn’t happen very often. It’s 20 years since the last one. Adayar is a consummate professional who has all the qualities of a top-class middle-distance horse. He has the pace, the kick and the stamina, plus a fantastic will to win. It was a brilliant King George. It had everything. Ten years is a long time ago since I last won. It’s like winning it for the first time again.”

John Gosden, trainer of Mishriff: “He’s run an absolute blinder to be second but in the end that’s a rapidly improving horse. I thought the winner looked magnificent in the pre-parade ring and I thought, Houston, we’re in trouble here. He has a lot of class. We will go to the Juddmonte where we will take on another three-year-old giving weight. Nothing wrong with that. It was a small race but quite a purist’s race.”

David Egan, rider of Mishriff: “I think he has come up against a horse that stays very well. He is a very good three-year-old who won the English Derby who we had to give 11lb, which is a lot of weight. I was delighted with the way he switched off and thought he stayed the mile and a half pretty well.”

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