Derby hero Adayar gets green light to run in the Champion Stakes on Saturday
Adayar will add spice to Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday after trainer Charlie Appleby confirmed on Thursday morning that the Derby and King George winner would be a definite starter in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes.
The son of Frankel has come out of his recent fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in such form that the Godolphin team are to go to the well again in the 1m2f showpiece.
A general 2-1 second favourite behind his old rival Mishriff, Adayar pleased connections in a workout at Moulton Paddocks on Wednesday morning to suggest he's up to try for a third Group 1 triumph before staying in training in 2022.
Adayar has had a light autumn campaign having missed his trial for the Arc after a setback and then ran a bit fresh in the race itself at Longchamp on October 3. The son of Frankel pulled his way to the front after half a mile and stayed there until headed inside the last furlong, finishing a close fourth behind Torquator Tasso.
Appleby said: "Adayar pleased us yesterday in an easy piece of work and showed his well-being. He ticked all the boxes and had all his checks. After discussions with the team the intention is to run him at Ascot.
"We are looking forward to meeting Mishriff as he's the one we have to beat over a mile and a quarter, which is a trip we will be exploring next year as well."
Adayar's participation is a boost to Godolphin stable jockey William Buick in his bid to win the British Flat jockeys' title, which ends on the same day, for the first time.
The Godolphin colours have been carried to victory in the Champion Stakes only once before, by Farhh in 2013, and Adayar will be a key mount for Buick, who has other strong rides lined up.
Masters Of The Seas set for QEII
Among them is 2,000 Guineas runner-up Master Of The Seas, who was second to Benbatl in the Joel Stakes on his return to action last month and will tackle the QEII Stakes on Saturday.
Appleby said: "Master Of The Seas is an intended runner in the QEII, in which he will have his hood removed. It's a competitive race and hopefully he can give a good account. The plan is to run at the Breeders' Cup."
Buick will also pair up with Creative Force in the Qipco British Champions Sprint. Appleby said about the general 6-1 chance: "We know he likes Ascot as he won the Jersey Stakes there over seven furlongs.
"He's still learning his trade in the sprinting ranks but this ground will be better for him than at Haydock last time when it was too fast for him."
The ground at Ascot on Thursday morning was good to soft on the straight course and good to soft, soft in places, on the round course.
The forecast looks generally dry through to Saturday, with an occasional light shower possible on Friday morning.
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