The Scottish Mail on Sunday


Appleby hails best horse he’s trained at one mile and a half

- By Marcus Townend

TRAINER Charlie Appleby hailed Adayar as the best mile-and-a-half horse he has ever trained as the colt powered to an emphatic length and three-quarter win in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot.

Disappoint­ingly for the Godolphin trainer, he had to watch the race from his Newmarket home, victim of the Covid-19 test and trace pingdemic.

But the trainer who has had to stay away from his stable since Wednesday at least could enjoy the race on his sofa in relative comfort as the William Buickridde­n 9-4 shot became the 14th Derby winner to land the King George in the same season and the first since Galileo, one of the greats of the Turf, in 2001.

The disappoint­ing performanc­es of some recent Derby winners has meant the default position of many observers has been to treat the Derby form with suspicion until proven otherwise.

The dramatic four-and-a-half length win of Adayar at Epsom had left many wondering whether it was too good to be true.

Now we know Adayar is the real deal after he fought off the globetrott­ing Mishriff with Aidan O’Brien’s five-time Group One winner Love, the 13-8 favourite, beaten three and a half lengths in third.

The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October is now in Adayar’s sights — possibly via

the Prix Niel at Longchamp — and Coral cut him to 5-1 second favourite behind O’Brien’s English and Irish Oaks winner Snowfall (4-1).

That leaves Appleby’s Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane to head to the St Leger, the season’s final Classic at Doncaster in September.

Appleby said: ‘Greatness is measured in black and white on what you have achieved and he is by far the best mile-and-a-half horse I have trained.

‘You’d love to be there for those historic moments but my job was done and I have a fantastic team around me. It didn’t make a difference whether I was there or not.

‘It was a good Derby, as we already knew — and coming into today we were confident he was in great form.’

For Buick, it was his second King George win 10 years after he won the race on John Gosden’s Nathaniel.

Appleby had told his jockey to make the most of Adayar’s stamina reserves. The rider carried out his instructio­ns perfectly and punched the air three times in delight as he crossed the finish line. Buick, 33, said: ‘I may have gone a bit over the top but I really enjoyed it.

‘When Adayar was younger he was not sure how to channel all his power. Now he has learned how to use himself. He is a consummate profession­al with all the qualities of a top middledist­ance horse — pace, kick, stamina and the will to win.’

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 ??  ?? GOLDEN TROPHY: Buick with the honour at Ascot yesterday
STRIDING CLEAR: Adayar powers home to win the King George
GOLDEN TROPHY: Buick with the honour at Ascot yesterday STRIDING CLEAR: Adayar powers home to win the King George
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