Stoute Makes History with King George Sweep

Conduit leads trainer's three-horse charge at Ascot July 25.

Conduit charged to the front with a furlong to go and led home an impressive one-two-three sweep for trainer Sir Michael Stoute in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot July 25.

Longshot Rockhampton went to the front at the break and set a rapid pace under Colm O’Donoghue as the three Stoute runners -- Ask, Tartan Bearer, and Conduit -- were allowed to track the pace from mid-pack. 

The placings remained unchanged throughout the early stages, as the runners were content to let Rockhampton have things his own way up front.

Rockhampton’s five-length lead quickly evaporated as the horses entered the home straight, with Golden Sword taking command with just over two furlongs to run. He was soon overtaken by Tartan Bearer, who appeared poised to capture his first group I victory under Mick Kinane.

However, Conduit was under a full head of steam out in the center of the course under Ryan Moore, and the 2008 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) hero rolled past his stablemate with a furlong to go. He drew off to win comfortably by 1 3/4 lengths. 

Tartan Bearer held on for second by a head over Ask, with Alwaary finishing fourth. Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:28.73 over a good turf course.

A stewards’ inquiry was called immediately after the race, due to Conduit slightly drifting across Tartan Bearer’s path in the final strides of the race. Although the results remained unchanged, Moore received a three-day suspension for careless riding.

The victory in the King George was the third for Stoute, following Golan in 2002 and Opera House in 1993.  Stoute told reporters after the race, “It’s nice to watch, especially after the third got back up.”

“I’m very proud of them; they’ve all ran great races. The others (Tartan Bearer and Ask) are top-class horses. They are lovely, sound horses.”

Stoute continued, “We've been very lucky … we've been one-two in the Guineas and one-two in the Breeders' Cup. We were also one-two in the Juddmonte (International at York) so it's nice to watch.”

The victory in the King George marked the third group I win for Conduit, who captured the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I) prior to his BC Turf triumph (gr. IT) last year. The chestnut colt was awarded the Eclipse Award as champion grass horse in North America after his impressive Breeders’ Cup win.

Both Conduit and Tartan Bearer were bred in Ireland by their owner, Ballymacoll Stud. Conduit is a 4-year-old son of Dalakhani, out of the Sadler’s Wells’ mare, Well Head. He is from the immediate family of champions and/or group I winners Petrushka, Spectrum, and Millenary.