Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, Adayar is already a racehorse of not inconsiderable claims to fame. The son of Frankel first attracted attention when comfortably winning his maiden at Nottingham by 9 lengths on his second start as a juvenile in October, 2020. However, following defeat in the Classic Trial at Sandown and the Derby Trial at Lingfield, Adayar was the least fancied of three Appleby-trained runners in the Derby, behind Hurricane Lane and One Ruler.
Nevertheless, Adayar was the subject of late support, into 16/1, for the Epsom Classic and duly prevailed, in taking style. With jockey Adam Kirby opting for a bold run against the far rail, he led approaching the final quarter of a mile and galloped on strongly to beat Mojo Star by 4½ lengths; stable companion Hurricane Lane finished third, a further 3¼ lengths away.
The following month, Adayar also won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, thereby becoming the first Derby winner since Galileo – coincidentally his grand-sire – in 2001 to do so. Two defeats, in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and the Champion Stakes at Ascot, followed, but Adayar remains in training as a four-year-old. He is, jointly, the highest-rated horse in Europe, according to Timeform and, according to Appleby, ‘ he is only going to get stronger as he fills into his frame’.
Appleby has nominated the Coronation Cup, back at Epsom, in early June as a likely starting point for 2022, with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes once again on the agenda. Adayar has been beaten on his last three starts short of a mile and a half, but Appleby will make a decision about dropping back in distance for the Juddmonte International at York in August in due course.