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Adayar ready for one last target in a memorable year: Champion Stakes confirmed for classy Derby winner

J A McGrath

Charlie Appleby described Adayar as the “class act” in Godolphin’s line-up of strength on British Champions’ Day at Ascot as the Derby winner was confirmed a runner in Saturday’s G1 Champion Stakes.

Appleby is confident the three-year-old can cope with the drop back in distance from a mile and a half in the Arc to the 1m 2f of the Champion on ground he expects to be similar to that at Epsom in June when the colt landed the coveted Classic.

Adayar will attempt something that Champions Nijinsky (1970) and Montjeu (2000) both failed to do — win the Champion Stakes after suffering defeat at Longchamp.

Nijinsky followed his unlucky second to Sassafras in the Arc with a shock defeat when runner-up to Lorenzaccio, while Montjeu, as a four-year-old, finished fourth to Sinndar in Paris prior to his second to Kalanisi. Both those renewals of the Champion were at Newmarket.

Appleby said the clincher in deciding Adayar would take his chance this weekend came in his final gallop at Moulton Paddocks on Wednesday.

“It was an easy piece of work to confirm his well-being, and he did it so well. We discussed it with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the decision was taken to run. We are all looking forward to the rematch with Mishriff, particularly over this trip.

“Adayar beat Mishriff comfortably (a length and three quarters) in the King George, and then Mishriff came out and dominated the Juddmonte International at York, winning by six lengths, over the distance (approximately) of Saturday’s race.

“We are happy to meet him over the mile and a quarter, which is the trip where we believe Adayar’s potential lies next year (at four),” the trainer explained.

Contrary to fears expressed by some observers, Adayar’s fourth in heavy ground in the Arc did not leave its mark.

“All the signs after the Arc were positive,” Appleby pointed out.

“They went steady for the first half of the race, which is why William (Buick) allowed him to take it up. They really only raced for the last mile. He has been beaten just under four lengths after kicking for home at the top of the straight.

“We have run all the usual veterinary checks on him this week, and he’s in great shape. I’m very happy with him going into Saturday,” he added.

The other members of Appleby’s Champions Day team are Master Of The Seas, who is out to confirm his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Mile when contesting the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Creative Force, a strong contender for the G1 British Champions Sprint.

“Master Of The Seas has pleased us since his reappearance (third) in the G2 Joel Stakes last month. He is mentally maturing. The hood is removed this time. This is his stepping stone to Del Mar.

“As for Creative Force, he is now learning how to sprint at the top level. He won the (7f) Jersey at Royal Ascot, but then he dropped back to 6f for the July Cup, in which he finished a good fifth. I feel he has learned a lot in his runs over sprint distances,” he added.