Godolphin's Adayar creates history by completing Derby and King George double

Colt becomes the first in 20 years to win at Epsom and Ascot in the same year

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Adayar joined a select group of colts to win both the Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, reaching the landmark at Ascot on Saturday.

The Frankel colt became the 14th horse to complete the Epsom-Ascot Group 1 double in the same season, adding his name to an illustrious list that includes Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Shergar, Nashwan, Generous, Lammtarra, and Galileo - the last to do so in 2001.

William Buick, on the Derby hero, disputed the early running with Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, the only other three-year-old in the 12-furlong highlight, until Aidan O’Brien’s Broome challenged after a slow start to lead the five-strong field after the first two furlongs.

Adayar continued to race keenly alongside Lone Eagle before settling better in a clear second with a mile to race.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt then closed in on Broome turning for home and the Godolphin contender took up the running approaching the final quarter-mile.

Dubai Sheema Classic winner Mishriff set a stiff challenge a furlong-and-a-half out but Adayar responded gamely before powering clear inside the final furlong for a length and three-quarter success, with the same margin back to another O’Brien runner Love in third.

“I am absolutely delighted and I think this season couldn’t be improved upon,” Hugh Anderson, Godolphin managing director for UK and Dubai, told Godolphin's website.

“It looked like a very decisive win by an Epsom Derby winner and it’s fantastic with Hurricane Lane as well this year.

“Credit to Charlie, his team and of course His Highness Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai). We haven’t won this race for a long time and that was a brilliant performance.”

Godolphin's Hurricane Lane was third to Adayar in the Epsom Derby and went on to win the Irish equivalent and the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at the Longchamp racecourse.

“We are delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, everyone at Moulton Paddocks and team Godolphin,” Appleby, who has now saddled six of the 11 Group 1 winners for the royal blues this year, said.

“I didn’t expect to be out of the first three going into to race because of the three-year-old weight allowance and I also felt that Adayar was a very good horse.

“Adayar has defied history by becoming the first horse since Galileo to win the Derby and this race and it’s fitting that his grandson has managed the feat. I would imagine that we will work backwards from the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with him now.

“As things stand at this moment, I would say that Hurricane Lane would more likely go down the St Leger/Arc route and Adayar will potentially go for the Prix Niel before the Arc itself.

“It’s fantastic for everybody – it’s fantastic for His Highness and fantastic for racing. We are all looking for that star horse, the next Enable or Frankel. Hopefully, Adayar or Hurricane Lane can pick up that mantle and carry the flag.”

Buick added: “I am very fortunate to ride these horses and Adayar is a great horse. He was a great Derby winner and he just gives you the feeling of endless power.

“It’s a privilege to be able to ride him because these horses don’t come around very often.

“Charlie had conversations with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and they were adamant that the quicker ground today wasn’t an issue for him. Good horses can adapt and that is exactly what this horse is.

“It was a very simple race to ride once he dropped his head when we turned into Swinley Bottom. When I picked him up, the response was instant and he was relentless to the line.

“Sheikh Mohammed has given me the opportunity to ride these horses and to work for Godolphin. I will be forever grateful for that. Charlie Appleby is obviously having a fantastic season and I am the lucky one who rides these horses.”

Updated: July 24, 2021, 5:04 PM