Adayar stamped his authority at Ascot on Saturday when winning the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1) in tremendous style at odds of 9/4. Despite taking a keen hold early in the race, the Derby winning colt took the race by the scruff of the neck at the distance, going a length clear at the furlong pole then quickening to win impressively. It was even decisive enough to allow the winning jockey William Buick the luxury of a victory air punch celebration.
Adayar’s trainer Charlie Appleby wasn’t on course to witness his charge’s historic win, the first Derby and King George double since Galileo two decades ago, having been pinged by track and trace to self-isolate. Talking to reporters after the race via video link Appleby said. ‘He was a good Derby winner and we were confident today. When the bell rang turning for home. He just put himself in the firing line and galloped powerfully to the line.’
He went on to say ‘The ground wasn’t a concern, because he’d won on good to firm. I wouldn’t have used the ground as an excuse if he’d lost.’ Adding ‘It was a fantastic ride by William, who did all the right things, and it was a good race. When the bell went coming into Swinley Bottom, he put himself in the firing line and galloped all the way to the line.’
The winning jockey was cock-a-hoop telling the Racing Post ‘I might have gone a bit over the top with the celebration, but I really enjoyed it.’ Adding, ‘Horses like him don’t come around too often and it’s not often the Derby winner follows up in the King George so it feels amazing. He jumped better than I expected and was in a lovely rhythm. He then had that kick in the straight and stayed on all the way to the line. We all saw him at Epsom and we all thought he was a good Derby winner, he’s just confirmed that by taking on the older horses. He’s a consummate professional who possesses a fantastic will to win. It was a brilliant field, which is what the King George is all about.’
On future plans, Charlie Appleby said ‘We’ll have a definitive answer within the next week but right now I’d be thinking this horse will be aimed at the Arc, with maybe the Prix Niel before it.’
The disappointment of the race was the Aidan O’Brien trained and Ryan Moore ridden 13/8 favourite Love but she never really looked like winning. She eventually finished back in third 3 ½ lengths behind the winner. She was well supported in the market beforehand including a bet of £300,000 at 7/4 reported by bookmakers Star Sports who had a very lop-sided book.
Adayar is 5/1 best with Skybet and Unibet for the Prix de l Arc de Triomphe. He is second favourite behind Snowfall, which is 3/1 top price though both horses still have to be supplemented to take part.