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Horse Racing

‘Gentle giant’ Adayar takes on Love in mouthwatering Ascot clash as he chases rare Derby-King George double

EPSOM champ Adayar is bidding to complete a rare double at Ascot on Saturday.

The great Galileo is the only horse in the last 20 years to win the Derby and King George in the same season.

Adayar won the Derby at 16-1 on his most recent start
Love is favourite for the King George after victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

If he is to write his name into the history books, Charlie Appleby’s Classic hero will need to go through the brilliant filly Love.

Coral make five-time Group 1 winner Love the 13-8 favourite, with Adayar hot on her heels at 9-4. 

And Appleby reckons his ‘gentle giant’ is capable of breaking Love’s heart in a mouthwatering clash.

He said: “I’m delighted with Adayar’s preparation going into the race, he’s flying at home.

“It’s only a small field but it looks like there’s some pace and if you want to dig deep into form, Love is a deserved favourite. 

“We’re second favourite and with the weight-for-age allowance, I think the market is about right. 

“He’s a gentle giant, you wouldn’t want him to throw his weight around as he’s a big lad, Josh Crane his rider has done a fantastic job. 

“His home work is no different to what it was prior to Epsom, he’s a nice, honest galloper who covers a lot of ground.”

He added: “It’s fantastic being part of these races, helping to produce the goods on the day is a great honour and he’s my first runner in the King George. 

“More importantly he’s not just a runner, he’s a Derby winner. To win it, it would be a lovely feather to have in the cap.

“We respect the opposition, it’s a top field. But he is a major player and should be bang there.”

Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, globe-trotting star Mishriff and top mare Wonderful Tonight add further depth to the £875,000 race.

Ground conditions could change dramatically in the lead-up to the big race.

Ascot clerk Chris Stickels is currently describing the going as Good to Firm – but there is a significant risk of heavy thunderstorms throughout Saturday.

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