Pyledriver King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, Ascot, Saturday, July 24 1pt win at 6-1
Pyledriver 3:35 Ascot Older racing fans will remember the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot as the best race in the calendar. All the Derby winners would come to Ascot to take on older horses for the first time and the roll of honour includes some of the greatest horses to grace the turf.
However, at the start of this millennium there was a change in the thinking of trainers and owners as all of a sudden the best three-year-olds were kept back for the Arc in Paris.
Only John Gosden has trained the winner with a three-year old since 2003 and the last Derby winner to win the race is Galileo back in 2001.
Consequently it is an absolute joy to see Godolphin are planning to run Derby winner Adayar in the race this year, and the possible clash with last year's best three-year-old, Love, has the potential to elevate the race back to where it used to be.
Adayar looked a throwback Derby winner to me in that he travelled the best, quickened up the best and had the race in safe keeping a long way out.
The problem for anyone wanting to back him now is all his best form has come on slower ground and he's a huge horse who hits the ground hard.
He could easily be just as good on faster ground but we don't know that yet and at around the 9-4 mark, he makes no appeal at this stage.
Love, on the other hand, would relish fast ground and she showed she still retained a good deal of last year's ability when winning at the royal meeting on her first run for 300 days.
There is every chance she is going to improve a lot for that run but she will have to because she had the run of the race from the front and the form is a long way off what will be required next month.
For example, the nine-year-old Desert Encounter, who was beaten under five lengths that day, was defeated out of sight in a Listed race on Saturday and while she won her Group 1s easily last season, not even Love's most ardent fans would describe them as strong races.
I can't believe Snowfall will run as Ballydoyle's normal modus operandi would be to run her in the Irish Oaks then go on to York and if Adayar runs, surely the Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane won't.
Consequently I think the ones to concentrate on are the four-year-old colts, Pyledriver, Al Aasy and In Swoop, although the latter is due to tackle the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud on Sunday and isn't a certain runner.
Given how much ground he had to make up it would be normal to think that Al Aasy could turn the tables on Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver but the latter did a lot of running early on and still fought back to win.
I remain convinced we have not seen the full potential of Pyledriver and we know he acts well at Ascot and won't mind what the ground is.
Quite simply he remains the most underrated horse in training and on what he showed in the Voltigeur last year and the Coronation Cup this, Pyledriver has every right to be considered as good as any colt in Europe over a mile and a half.
PyledriverKing George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes, Ascot, Saturday, July 241pt win at 6-1Pyledriver3:35 AscotOlder racing fans will remember the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot as the best race in the calendar. All th