Adayar becomes the first horse since Galileo to complete Epsom Derby-King George double

July 24, 2021

Adayar (9/4) became the first Epsom Derby winner since Galileo twenty years ago to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Adayar, a son of Juddmonte Farms’ Frankel, making him a grandson of Galileo, was a highly impressive winner of the Group 1 contest over 1 mile 4 furlongs.

“I’m a little bit speechless to be honest,” winning rider William Buick admitted to ITV Racing. “I’m very fortunate to ride these horses. He’s a great horse. He’s a great Derby winner. Today he was giving me the feel of endless power. It’s just a priviledge to be able to ride these horses. These horses don’t come around very often.” 

The 33-year-old Norwegian-born 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-winning rider continued:

Charlie (Appleby)  wasn’t worried (about the ground) and he’d obviously had conversations with His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) and they were adamant that the ground wasn’t an issue for him. Obviously for good horses, they can adapt. This is exactly what this horse is. It was a very simple race to ride once he dropped his hea and then when I picked him up he was instant.” 

The Godolphin-owned three-year-old was a somewhat surprise winner of the Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs, England, on his previous start in early June. He was seen as the second choice of the Godolphin team that day, behind Hurricane Lane, who subsequently went on to triumph in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh at the end of June, followed by the recent Grand Prix de Paris.

Ridden on Saturday by William Buick, the Charlie Appley-handled winner had a comfortable length and three quarters to spare over The Saudi Cup winner Mishriff. The four-year-old son of Make Believe was giving weight to the three-year-old winner in what is the first clash of the generations this season in England. 

Bred by Nawara Stud Limited, Mishriff (13/2), was ridden by Irish jockey David Egan for top English conditioner John Gosden and his fellow licence holder, his son Thady, as well as Prince A A Faisal.

Love, winner of the 2020 QPICO 1000 Guineas and Cazoo Oaks at Newmarket and Epsom respectively, started as 13/8 race favourite on Saturday at Ascot. 

The Coolmore partners-owned filly finished a disappointing three and three-quarter lengths further behind Misriff in third place. The Aidan O’Brien-handled four-year-old daughter of Galileo failed to show her customary burst of speed, and never looked a serious challenger to the eventual winner at any stage of the race.

Of the first three horses home, the winner Adayar was rated the lowest of the three prior to the Group 1 contest, standing on 121, with both Mishriff and Love officially rated 122, figures which are likely to change in the coming days.

Another Ballydoyle inmate, Broome (14/1), was six lengths behind Love in fourth place for rider Wayne Lordan. Italian jockey Frankie Dettori brought up the five runner field with the Ballylinch Stud-owned Lone Eagle (7/2), trained by Martin Meade.

The race was another major success for Irish breeding, will all five runners bred in Ireland.

Looking forward to other targets later in the season, the 2010 Arlington Cup-winning rider William Buick was asked by ITV Racing about potentially having to choose between dual Group 1 winners Adayar and Hurricane Lane.

Buick responded by saying:

“What a nice problem to have. We’re blessed with these horses. I’m blessed to be riding them. This is what I dreamt of when I was a young boy.”

The race earns Adayar a birth in the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar later this year as part of the win and you’re in program.

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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