Doyen's Status Soars with King George Win
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 7/24/2004 4:29:49 PM
Last Updated: 7/24/2004 4:30:30 PM

Godolphin's favored Doyen had too much finishing kick for his rivals in Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I), pulling away in the final furlong for a polished three-length victory.

On a day that winning jockey Frankie Dettori would collect his 2,000th victory, Team Victory's gritty American challenger Hard Buck finished second by a head over Godolphin's Sulamani.

The Irish-bred 4-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, an 11-10 choice in a field of 11, turned in an impressive performance, moving up to the get the lead with less than a quarter-mile to go and withstanding the challenge of Hard Buck and jockey Gary Stevens. The time for the 1 1/2-mile showcase was 2:33.18.

Sulamani was held up in the rear of the 11-horse field, pushed along a quarter-mile from the wire and finished well, just missing second. Gamut was fourth.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor's fifth King George victory ties him with the late Dick Hern as the most successful conditioner in the race.

Given time to develop into a top quality stakes runner, Doyen set a track record in the Hardwicke Stakes earlier this year.

After Lunar Sovereign set a solid pace before fading, it was the Ken McPeek-trained Hard Buck, racing just off the leader, who had the first opportunity to display a winning move. But Dettori and Doyen soon joined him as they made their way down the straight.

Dettori previously won the race with Swain and Daylami.

"This was the easiest King George winner I have ridden," Dettori told Racing Post. "Daylami won this race by five lengths but he was off the bridle from three out. I could have won by much further today if I'd wanted. I really feel we have a great horse here.

"He looks beautiful and walked around the paddock like he owned the place. That pleased me. His work is so-so and all he does at home is yawn and slobs around. He has so much presence. He can only learn and get better and better."

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, told the publication, "We felt coming into the race that Doyen was fitting into the mold of the likes of Swain, Daylami and Fantastic Light. The profile was nearly there, he just needed this win to get to that point. Saeed and his team have done a fantastic job."

Vallee Enchantee (5th), Tycoon (6th), Bandari (7th), High Accolade (8th), Warrsan (9th), Phoenix Reach (10th) and Lunar Sovereign (11th) rounded out the order.

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