ITV Racing Tips: Derby winner Adayar can emulate Galileo in vintage King George
Temperatures have soared and so too has the standard of racing fare as Ascot stages the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, arguably the highlight of every summer.
Arguably because despite the great memories of Grundy v Bustino and the turn of the century performances of Swain, Daylami, Montjeu and Galileo, the race has not always lived up to its past.
What was the norm, when the Derby winner would take on his elders in the King George, became the exception but thankfully that is not the case this year.
Adayar will only be the fifth Derby winner this century to contest the Ascot showpiece but, even though only six are declared, the presence of Europe’s best filly Love and Saudi Cup winner Mishriff ensure this year’s King George fulfils its purpose.
The ingredients are there for a potential epic, which will climax ITV’s seven race schedule, which also features three other races from Ascot and three from York, the highlight being the Group 2 York Stakes.
It all unfolds from 13.25 on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
A 22-runner handicap over a straight 7f that might not be as wide open as it looks if recent form stands up. The late Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell team appears to hold all the aces with three horses among the top four in the betting, two of which have already won over course and distance and the other was second on the track last time.
Danyah and Aldaary were second and fifth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes behind Highfield Princess who has won again since. But Dane O’Neill, who rode Danyah, prefers Motakhayyel, last year’s Buckingham Palace winner, and it’s not difficult to see why.
The Richard Hannon runner stepped down from Group company to coast to an easy victory in the Bunbury Cup two weeks ago under 9st 10lb. He carries top weight again but a 3lb penalty is unlikely to overburden him as he is actually 9lb ‘well in’.
If you are wondering what has kept Shadwell’s number one jockey away from Ascot, the answer will be found here. Jim Crowley is at York to steer Mohaafeth through his latest test.
The colt who was taken out of the Derby after declaration because of soft ground rewarded connections at Royal Ascot by taking the Hampton Court Stakes and now undergoes his first test against older horses.
Armory, third behind Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and second in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate in Australia last year, will be a tough opponent but if Mohaafeth is top class, he should be winning here.
Adayar will attempt to become the first Derby winner since his grandfather, the late, great Galileo, to win the King George. The least sung of the trio of Godolphin runners in the Epsom Classic, it was he who came to the fore, and in emphatic fashion.
Under a brave ride from Adam Kirby he found a route against the rail and pulled four and a half lengths clear of the second and the form has been franked by the subsequent performances of stablemate Hurricane Lane, the Derby third, who has since won the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris.
With St Mark’s Basilica winning the Eclipse, we could have an above average crop of three-year-olds on our hands this year. Love looked brilliant on her return to action in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes where she made all on her first run since last August.
Mishriff was less impressive when third in the Eclipse off a three month layoff. Galileo ushered in an era of Coolmore/Ballydoyle domination with his triumph over Godolphin’s Fantastic Light 20 years ago. Adayar, son of the new superstar stallion Frankel, can wrench the advantage back to Godolphin.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 24th July
13:50 Ascot – Princess Margaret Stakes
14:05 York – Jump Jockeys handicap
14:25 Ascot – 1m handicap
14:40 York – Dash Handicap
15:00 Ascot – International Stakes
15:15 York – York Stakes
15:35 Ascot – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing