Saturday's King George VI Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes too tempting

Adam Kirby

Adam Kirby on Adayar wins the Derby on the second day of the Epsom Derby Festival horse racing event at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, southern England on June 5, 2021. 

Photo credit: Glyn Kirk | AFP

The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes is such a marvelous match-up this Saturday. Love, Adayar and Mishriff, are ready to pounce, viewing an automatic expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Turf, at Del Mar.Love returned dutifully in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, suggesting she might hold Adayar and Mishriff at their mercy. Fillies are rampant winners of this title, as has been seen with Enable, Taghrooda, and Danedream.Adayar is vying to bridge a 20-year gap for Derby winners in the 12-furlong spectacle, with no horse doing the double since Galileo in 2001.The other Classic contender is Lone Eagle, who was narrowly denied by Hurricane Lane in the Curragh Irish Derby, June 26.Leading 4-year-old Mishriff, is hotly fancied after a warmer in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park. That was his first start since documenting a memorable big-race double of Saudi Cup, and Dubai Sheema Classic.St Mark's Basilica is also in the mix. What a great horse, but Love is also scintillating.The nine confirmations also include last year's G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes striker, Addeybb, and Wonderful Tonight, who defeated opposite genders in the Hardwicke Stakes. Pylediver has sadly been scratched with a set-back. He would have really added spice here, following a Coronation Cup blaster. Broome, Japan, and Mogul, complete this field, but recent form is not encouraging. Pundits are hailing a race of the season finish.***The Haskell Stakes was to be a Louisiana Derby replication, where Hot Rod Charlie bested Midnight Bourbon and Mandaloun on the road to the Kentucky Derby. At the start, Midnight Bourbon and Following Sea broke fastest with Hot Rod Charlie (Flavien Prat 2-1), right behind them.Following Sea held a short lead after the first quarter, then Midnight Bourbon took over, getting a head in front at the half-mile. Hot Rod Charlie was third, a half-length in front of Mandaloun (Florent Geroux 2-1), who did his running on the rail throughout the 1 1/8-mile Haskell.Midnight Bourbon engaged Following Sea around the far turn, with Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie just behind them. As they entered the stretch, Mandaloun moved smartly as Midnight Bourbon waved goodbye to Following Sea.Hot Rod Charlie was a looming danger. Passing the furlong pole, Hot Rod Charlie passed Midnight Bourbon (Paco Lopez 3-1), but began drifting in toward Mandaloun. Midnight Bourbon clipped the heels of Hot Rod Charlie as that colt took over his path without clearance. Midnight Bourbon stumbled badly and nearly fell, losing Lopez in the process.Hot Rod Charlie and Mandaloun duelled down the rest of the stretch, with Hot Rod Charlie putting his nose in front.Immediately, the Inquiry sign went up, signalling that Monmouth stewards would take a second look. They disqualified Hot Rod Charlie, placing him last. Mandaloun was declared number one, with Following Sea, Antigravity, Pickin' Time, and Basso. Mandaloun clocked a fast 1:47.38.

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