Adayar makes history with Derby-King George double
Winning the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot is always a fantastic achievement, but doing so having won the Epsom Derby earlier in the year makes it even more special. That is the glory which Adayar, jockey William Buick and trainer Charlie Appleby have been revelling in since the sensational triumph, and you can hardly blame them Adayar is the first horse to complete that particular double since Galileo in 2001, and that kind of historic triumph warrants celebration.
To win the King George requires a fine performance, and Adayar provided just that. It was by no means a case of leading from the front throughout, but Buick gradually guided him up through the ranks before taking the lead at the crucial moment. In the end, there were less than two lengths separating Adayar from second-placed Mishriff, but it was still a commanding win, and Buick was delighted with the three-year-old.
“He’s a consummate professional,” the jockey said. “He has all the qualities of a top-class middle-distance horse. He has the required pace and the kick and the stamina, and a fantastic will to win. He had that kick at the top of the straight and then did what we saw at Epsom, that resolute gallop all the way to the line. We all thought he was a good Derby winner and he’s confirmed that today.”
Buick is a jockey who is well used to the biggest races and the best horses, and he has a fine record of success to back up his assertion that Adayar is a horse who can continue to dominate. There is something about the colt’s power and speed that make him a truly fearsome competitor, and there’s every reason to think that Adayar will be favoured in the horse racing tips for many of the big races to come this season.
The King George victory backs up what we saw in the Derby. Adam Kirby was the man in the saddle for that triumph, as a dominant performance meant Adayar won by over four lengths, leaving the better fancied contenders struggling to keep up the pace. Earning a win in one of the British Classics is always a good sign that a horse has what it takes to make it in the big-time, but following it up and repeating that success is always a tougher test.
With this latest win, Adayar can truly be held up as one of the most in-form horses in flat racing.
The wins will be especially satisfying for Appleby, who will have been delighted to see his hard work pay off. In a sport where Aidan O’Brien dominates so many of the biggest races, it’s always nice for a trainer of a slightly lesser tier to earn an impressive triumph. It had been 20 years since a horse achieved the Derby-King George double, and the honour is the latest in what has been a very successful season so far for Appleby.
“I was confident this horse would not look like a three-year-old among those horses,” said Appleby after the win at Ascot. “Walking around the paddock, he didn’t look like the junior among the camp.”
You can say that again. Adayar has more than proved that he can mix it with the big boys, and there will likely be plenty more success to come.
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