He is the real deal. Adayar had his doubters beforehand; but there were none willing to admit to anything other than admiration after the big, burly powerhouse of a Classic colt carried off the £875,000 Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday in awe-inspiring fashion.
First the Derby, now the all-aged summer championship.
The three-year-old son of the peerless Frankel is a lavish bull of a horse; so much so that it’s now easy to understand why he looked less than magnificent in defeat in his first two starts this season – it took him time to grow into that vast frame.
Adayar pulled for his head in the early stages at Ascot Racecourse when front-runner Broome was setting only standard fractions, but as soon as jockey William Buick moved him up to deliver a challenge on the home turn the die was cast. In two or three strides Adayar located his brilliance, and the race was done.
Mishriff came from last place to finish second without ever looking likely to catch the winner, while the favourite Love could not find a telling change of gear, plugging on one-paced for third.
Adayar, the 9-4 second favourite in a field of five
He covered the mile and a half on fast ground in 2:26.54 and won by a length and three-quarters, with the same margin between second and third.
“Horses like him don’t come around too often,” said a jubilant Buick, and the Godolphin homebred is rare indeed; becoming the first horse to do the Derby-King George double since Galileo in 2001. Buick chattered about his mount’s seemingly endless power, and a stiff mile and a half clearly brings out the magnificent best in him.
Trainer Charlie Appleby now has the enviable task of keeping Adayar; and dual Group 1 winner Hurricane Lane apart – Adayar is likely to have a prep race in France in September before heading for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, while Hurricane Lane has been mentioned as a St Leger prospect, with the Arc an alternative.
The tight turns at Del Mar; make neither horse an obvious candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Turf; but there is plenty of time for plans to change and one of the two may yet be California-bound.
Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes
Adayar’s prowess dominated the two-day Ascot card, but elsewhere the fairer sex had their moments. Zain Claudette (15-2, trained by Ismail Mohammed) stepped up markedly on her previous form to flash home late and win the £60,000 Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes, for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs, by half a nostril from the unlucky Desert Dreamer, stopping the clock in 1:13 and change. It was the biggest success of 3lb claimer (bug-boy, in US jargon) Ray Dawson’s career.
Both horses are likely to head to York next month for the Group 2 Lowther Stakes over the same distance.
The previous day; Dreamloper (trained by Ed Walker, ridden by current champion Oisin Murphy) delivered a mild upset in the £80,000 Group 3 Valiant Stakes for fillies and mares; drawing away in the final furlong to win by four and a half lengths from Lights On; the four-year-old covering the mile in 1:38 and paying out her supporters at 13-2.
Follow us on Social Media for instant Adayar updates!