Galileo confirmed his victories in the Epsom (Eng-I) and Irish (Ire-I) Derbies with an authoritative performance against open company in Saturday's 51st renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot. Piloted by regular rider Michael Kinane, Galileo earned his third group I win of the year Saturday while remaining undefeated after six career starts.
After Give the Slip set the pace for stablemate Fantastic Light, Galileo split horses at the top of the stretch, fought off what looked to be a winning challenge from Fantastic Light in mid-stretch, then pulled clear to the two-length victory as Frankie Dettori conceded defeat on Fantastic Light.
"I didn't want to sit down and wait in there because if I waited I knew they were going to queue up around him so I had to move out and he actually idled when he got to the front," Kinane told Sporting Life. "Fantastic Light drew up to me for a couple of strides and I just gave my fellow a backhander."
The 3-year-old Galileo raced under 12 less pounds than Fantastic Light, who appeared to brush with another horse while attempting to find running room in upper-stretch. On good to firm ground, Galileo completed the 1 1/2-mile race in 2:27.71.
"I probably put my nose in front for a couple of strides," Dettori told Sporting Life. "I got upsides but then the weight started to tell and he just couldn't get there. But the winner is a great horse, all credit to him."
Fantastic Light finished second, a length ahead of French challenger Hightori in the 12-horse field. Storming Home, Millenary, Golden Snake, Ananaa Blue, Morshdi, Mutamam, Chimes at Midnight, Give the Slip, and Ice Dancer completed the order of finish.
Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Galileo (Sadler's Wells -- Urban Sea, by Miswaki) is trained by Aidan O'Brien.
"Last year I was very confident with Montjeu but I knew with Fantastic Light -- who has looked better than ever this season -- in the race, we had something to beat," Tabor told Sporting Life. "But in the end he showed his guts and his bravery. I suppose it will be the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) and then the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) for him now all being well." (Chart, Sporting Life