Is Love the one to beat this Saturday?
Is Love the one to beat this Saturday?

King George VI tips & odds: Horse by horse preview, past winners and trainer quotes ahead of Ascot featuring Love and Adayar



King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1)


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Horse-by-horse guide

BROOME - OR: 116

  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
  • Jockey: Wayne Lordan
Broome in winning action

Only raced twice last term and didn't really get close to his three-year-old peak form but back better than ever as a five-year-old this time around and he's clearly responding well to a busy campaign. Has had six starts already in 2021 and form figures of 111221 speak for themselves but he looked on particularly good terms with himself when making all under Colin Keane to win at Saint-Cloud earlier this month. Handles all types of going and won't mind the odd spot of rain should it materialise but ground to make up on Wonderful Tonight from the Hardwicke Stakes and he's still conceding her the 3lb allowance. Could lack the requisite gears late on in the race.


MISHRIFF - OR: 122

  • Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
  • Jockey: David Egan
Mishriff wins the Saudi Cup

John Gosden has won half of the past 10 runnings - granted Enable took three of them - so it's interesting to see he and son Thady leave this colt in the mix. Looked to have all the top European middle-distance races at his feet after big-race wins in Riyadh and Meydan earlier in the year but returned to the UK with a slightly below-par showing in the Coral-Eclipse, racing too freely and ultimately weakening into third. He's definitely capable of better and a stronger overall tempo would suit but whether his first foray over 12 furlongs in the UK around here is the ideal move remains to be seen. No concerns over fast ground.


LOVE - OR: 122

  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
  • Jockey: Ryan Moore
Love holds off Audarya at Ascot

Loads to like about the way she defied a 300-day layoff to make her own running and see off the strong challenge of Audarya in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, especially when you consider she appeared to improve for each outing last season. She's 2-2 (both against her own sex) over this longer distance, clearly enjoys hearing her hooves rattle and looks to possess a fine attitude ahead of a race of this nature where they tend to get rolling early and a will to win can be just as important as raw ability. She is without doubt the older horse to beat.


WONDERFUL TONIGHT - OR: 117

  • Trainer: David Menuisier
  • Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Don't miss Oisin Murphy's latest Sporting Life column
READ: Murphy excited about Wonderful ride

Officially just a notch behind the likes of Love and while she still has the capacity to take another step up the ladder, her Group One wins in the autumn came against her own sex and against rivals not quite in the same category as some of these. The mud was flying on both occasions too, as was the case when she made a visually impressive seasonal reappearance in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot - beating Broome a length and a half in the process - and while all good horses just about go on any ground, she's likely to need everything in her favour if she's going to complete the four-timer and emerge on top again this weekend.


ADAYAR - OR: 121

  • Trainer: Charlie Appleby
  • Jockey: William Buick
Thumbs up from the Derby winning jockey

Definitely the most exciting entry here as Charlie Appleby's Frankel colt looks to prove his Cazoo Derby win - which was pretty emphatic on the day - wasn't a flash in the pan, or he wasn't slightly flattered by the way the Classic played out. Mixed messages from the bare form subsequently and it emerged stablemate Hurricane Lane - winner of the Irish Derby - did lose both front shoes at Epsom. Plenty of the others have been beaten since so it would be nice to see it again from Adayar, who didn't look a world-beater at Sandown (for all he shaped like the best horse in the race) or when second to Third Realm in the Lingfield Derby Trial. Has never raced on quick ground either so presumably connections will be hoping some of the forecast showers are on the heavier side.


LONE EAGLE - OR: 119

  • Trainer: Martyn Meade
  • Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Lone Eagle wins at Goodwood

Looked to be going places when winning three of his four outings last season and has gradually come up to Group One level as a three-year-old, unfortunately missing the Derby due to a setback Epsom week. Had looked a live one for that after slamming Yibir (won Bahrain Trophy recently) in the Cocked Hat at Goodwood and was well supported en route to much-improved, neck second to Adayar's stablemate Hurricane Lane in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. Must be rated among one of the better three-year-old colts on that evidence, the winner impressively going in again since in France, and Frankie Dettori keeping the ride is a statement of intent.


Big-race verdict

A superb race in prospect but with all eyes on Love versus Adayar, LONE EAGLE is the one being overlooked slightly. Martyn Meade was gutted to have to rule him out of the Cazoo Derby but connections of the Galileo colt almost got compensation in the Irish Derby when just collared by Hurricane Lane, who was clearly Charlie Appleby's number one going into Epsom (6/1 compared to 16/1 Adayar). The front two pulled seven lengths clear of Wordsworth at the Curragh and the first and third have since franked the form by finishing first and second in the Grand Prix de Paris. There should be more to come from Lone Eagle given his pedigree and, with Dettori now very much knowing what he has to work with, could really put it up to Love who will admittedly be tough to beat if building on her comeback success in the Prince of Wales' Stakes.

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Views from connections

Charlie Appleby, trainer of ADAYAR, said: "We are genuinely sitting here getting really excited by what Adayar does and it'll help decide where we run these two good horses for the rest of the season. I’m delighted with his preparation, he looks a million dollars and there should be some pace in the six runners which will suit us.

“Love is going to go off favourite and deservedly so on what she’s achieved, but I genuinely think we should be bang there as well. It’ll be fantastic to watch and whoever wins it will be ‘king of the mile and a half division’ for the foreseeable future.

“We hear it year-in-year-out that it wasn’t a classic Derby but from the Eclipse onwards it always sorts itself out. The Derby as it stands at the moment looks as though it was a good Derby, so I hope some pundits are right when they suggest we should be favourite.

"It’s one of the major races of the calendar year so to have a horse who on the book is looking very competitive is very, very exciting. Let’s hope he can come out on top. It’d be one lovely feather to have in the cap, there’s no doubt about it."

Josh Crane with Adayar
READ: Charlie Appleby excited over 'huge occasion'

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of LOVE and BROOME, said: "Everything has gone well with Love since Royal Ascot, where we were delighted to be able to give her the run in the Prince Of Wales’s. This is up another two furlongs and we are looking forward to it. She’s very genuine and she puts it all in.

“She would be the main one, but if it was going to be soft Broome handles it whereas Love wouldn’t be mad about it."

Ted Voute, racing manager to MISHRIFF's owner Prince Faisal, said: “I talked to John (Gosden) after Mishriff worked on Saturday and he was very happy with him. It has very much been left up to John where he runs next and, having discussed it with the Prince, Ascot looks the likely target.

"I thought Mishriff was a bit gassy at Sandown in the first half of the race, which happens to a lot of horses after some time off, and I just wondered whether he needed a race under his belt to get him spot on. He seemed to run very well backing up from Saudi to Dubai.

"St Mark’s Basilica is clearly a very good horse and I think it is going to take a very good horse to beat Love on Saturday. We want to win a Group One in England with Mishriff and you can’t win one unless you run in them. He has beaten some very good horses from around the world and now is the time to see what he can do against the big battalions from England and Ireland in particular."

David Menuisier, trainer of WONDERFUL TONIGHT, said: “Oisin [Murphy] is a top jockey, and we think he is the best possible replacement for William, if she runs.

“It’s one of those things – in summer, heat can be followed by thunderstorms, so it’s not by any means delusional to think we might get some rain. We just want to have the options open.

“I’ll have a chat with Chris (Wright, owner) before declarations on Thursday morning, and we will make a decision then. She is a different horse this season – she’s stronger and she might handle better ground, although you cannot guarantee that.

“What we don’t want to do is have a hard race on good ground at this stage of the season and put her off.”

Meade confident of bold showing

Martyn Meade, trainer of LONE EAGLE, said: "I was thrilled with his run at the Curragh – everything he did in the race was right, apart from the result I suppose. He’s come out of it very well. He’s a horse that is very straightforward and he’s just flourishing, I think.

“Saturday is a big task, but I’m confident he’ll produce a really good showing there.

"The way the race panned out meant we were left in front – I thought the pace maker would take us further into the race, but Frankie had no option to go on when he did.

“Two furlongs out I was thinking it wasn’t ideal to go on at this stage – but a furlong out I thought ‘good Lord, there’s a chance we’ll win this’. I could see the blue colours quickening, but I didn’t think he was going to get there.

“Because our horse had nothing to aim at when the other horse came, there was no time to get momentum again and have a fight with the other horse, so it was a beautifully timed run as far as (William) Buick was concerned.

“I’d love to see what would happen if we ran the race again and at the two furlong marker if the winner was upsides – that would have been interesting, but of course we’ll never know. Frankie was very enthusiastic about the horse, while obviously being upset about the result. He said he just kept on giving and giving and couldn’t ask for any more. He said he was a delight to ride and was keen to ride again on Saturday.

“We still don’t know how good he can be. Maybe the Curragh was the pinnacle, maybe not – we’ll find out on Saturday.”


Last 10 years (click for FREE video replay)

2020: Enable (4/6f) 6yo - Frankie Dettori, John Gosden

2019: Enable (8/15f) 5yo - Frankie Dettori, John Gosden

2018: Poet's Word (7/4) 5yo - James Doyle, Sir Michael Stoute

2017: Enable (5/4f) 3yo - Frankie Dettori, John Gosden

2016: Highland Reel (13/8f) 4yo - Ryan Moore, Aidan O'Brien

2015: Postponed (6/1) 4yo - Andrea Atzeni, Luca Cumani

2014: Taghrooda (7/2) 3yo - Paul Hanagan, John Gosden

2013: Novellist (13/2) 4yo - Johnny Murtagh, Andreas Wohler

2012: Danedream (9/1) 4yo - Andrasch Starke, Peter Schiergen

2011: Nathaniel (11/2) 3yo - William Buick, John Gosden


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