ADAYAR WINS KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH QIPCO STAKES AT ASCOT AND GAINS AUTOMATIC BERTH INTO LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND (July 24, 2021) — Godolphin’s Adayar (IRE) emulated the late, great Galileo (IRE) when he became the first winner of the Epsom (Cazoo) Derby in 20 years to capture the 1 ½-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot. The victory secured Adayar an automatic berth in the US$4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California on Nov. 5-6.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Adayar to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles over the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Only the fifth Derby winner to contest the US$1.2 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes this century, Adayar made the 3-year-old weight-for-age allowance count, challenging the frontrunning Broome (IRE) off the bend to take the lead with 2 ½ furlongs to run and proved just too strong for his older rivals.
Mishriff (IRE) tried to mount a challenge in the straight but had to settle for second, 1 ¾ lengths behind the winner, with the favored Love (IRE), the same distance back in third. Adayar completed the race in 2:26.54 over a track listed as good to firm.
Adayar joins Love, who captured the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, Cool Day (ARG), winner of the Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini (G1) at San Isidro in Buenos Aires, and Chrono Genesis (JPN), who won the Tararazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin in Japan, as the first four automatic qualifiers thus far for the 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
“He jumped better than I expected,” said winning jockey William Buick. “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.”
Buick, who recorded his only previous King George victory on Nathaniel (IRE) 10 years ago, added: “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.”
Adayar demonstrated the tremendous strength in depth of Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s 3-year-old division this year. Buick opted to ride the stable’s Hurricane Lane (IRE) at Epsom where they finished third behind Adayar. Hurricane Lane has since gone on to land the Irish Derby (G1) and Grand Prix de Paris (G1). They are both sons of Frankel (GB) and grandsons of Galileo.
“I am delighted for his highness Sheikh Mohammed to win such a historic event,” said Appleby. “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.
“We were confident he was in great form. It was a fantastic ride from William. The instructions were to get him out and get him up near the lead, and he did all the right things. Turning for home the race was on. He put himself in the firing line and galloped well to the line.”
Appleby had to watch the race from home in Newmarket having been notified by the COVID-19 test and tracing app that he had been in close contact with a COVID case, so had to self-isolate.
“I saw the horse on Wednesday morning and that was the last day I was able to go to the yard,” he explained. “Of course I would have loved to be there but my job was done. It didn’t make any difference whether I was there or not.”
Appleby has three Breeders’ Cup wins to his name and did not rule out returning to Del Mar with Adayar.
“This horse has been very versatile,” he said. “The ground was on the easier side of good at Epsom, he’s won as a two-year-old on soft ground and he’s gone and won the King George on fast ground.
“We will work back from the Arc (Grade 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe) with him. Statistically it is going to be on the slower side of good there. That will be first and foremost and if we are lucky enough to come out of that in good order then the Breeders’ Cup Turf is a lovely race to win.”
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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