A tantalizing edition of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) is on tap with Group 1 winners Love (IRE), Adayar (IRE) and Mishriff (IRE) heading up the field of six for Ascot’s midsummer highlight on July 14.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Love prevailed in each of her three top-level starts last season, including a nine-length demolition in the Investec Oaks (G1) at Epsom Downs, and opened her 2021 campaign with a game success in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot. Fillies have an excellent recent record in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, most recently being the exploits of three-time winner Enable (GB).
Adayar, trained by Charlie Applebym is aiming to bridge a 20-year gap for Derby winners in the 12-furlong showpiece, with no horse doing the double since Galileo in 2001. In this period, three Derby winners have contested the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes during their Classic campaigns, with Kris Kin faring best in third in 2003.
Leading 4-year-old Mishriff, trained by John and Thady Gosden, is likely to take his chance after pleasing connections since his comeback third in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown Park on 3rd July. That was his first start since recording a memorable big-race double in the Saudi Cup on dirt and Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on turf earlier in the year.
“I talked to John after Mishriff worked on Saturday and John was very happy with him,” said Ted Voute, racing manager to owner Prince Faisal. “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.
“I think it is going to take a very good horse to beat Love on Saturday. We want to win a Group 1 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.”