Galileo, the undefeated winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbies this year, squares off against Fantastic Light and 10 other runners in what promises to be a stirring rendition of the group I $1.07 million King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. The race will be telecast live on ESPN News Saturday at 10:45 a.m. eastern time, and replayed Sunday on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. eastern.
Owned by Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor, 3-year-old Galileo will be taking on his elders for the first time in the 12-furlong turf test. The son of Sadler's Wells will be getting a 12-pound break in the weights, 121-133, from his older rivals. The colt's regular jockey, Michael Kinane, obtained a court order allowing him to ride after his appeal of a two-day suspension was turned down by the Irish Turf Club. According to the Racing Post, the High Court has set an August 15 date to hear Kinane's appeal for a rehearing. Galileo, if all goes well, will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Classic (gr. I) at Belmont Park in October by trainer Aidan O'Brien, who lost the Classic by a whisker with Giant's Causeway a year ago.
Godolphin's Fantastic Light is apt to go as second-choice. He ran fifth, beaten just two lengths by Kalanisi, in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old by Rahy turned the tables on the just-retired Kalanisi earlier this year, defeating him in the Tattersall's Gold Cup at The Curragh and again in the Prince of Wales over the Royal Ascot layout.
Other contenders include Golden Snake, who was beaten only a neck by Fantastic Light in the Tattersalls, and Hightori, who comes in from France.