There had been some concern whether the going would be too soft for the 4-year-old’s liking. There also had been a few cynics who thought the Aidan O’Brien trainee had gone off form, since he had lost his last two starts.
Dylan Thomas cast aside those doubts by showing a superb turn of foot to shoot by leader Maraahel with just under two furlongs left in the 12 furlong contest to win under a hand ride by Johnny Murtagh.
Youmzain ran on well to capture second, finishing 3 1/2-lengths in front of a tiring Maraahel. Time for the race was 2:31.11 over a course listed as good to soft, but was drying out quickly.
The King George usually brings out many of the season’s top 3-year-olds, who are meeting their elders for the first time. Many people thought that some of the luster was missing from this year’s edition, since none of the English, French, or Irish Derby winners were in the field.
Even without a star 3-year-old, however, the race brought together some of the best older horses currently in training. In fact, six of the seven runners were group I winners. Besides Dylan Thomas, Aidan O’Brien also ran Scorpion, who was seeking to capture his fourth career group I. Jockey Mick Kinane sent the Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner to the front, and the pair set a decent pace up front.
Scorpion was soon joined by German invader Prince Flori and Sir Michael Stoute’s Maraahel, who took over the lead with two furlongs left. It was at that point when Dylan Thomas ran by for an easy win.
Laverock and Sergeant Cecil were never a factor, and finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien told reporters afterwards, “We’ve always thought he was a serious horse. He wants a fast-run mile and a quarter or mile and a half, and he’s such a brilliant mover that there is no doubt he prefers faster ground.”
O’Brien continued, “Mick (Kinane) said he was happy to go on if nothing else did, as Scorpion does stay. Dylan Thomas likes to be dropped in and take his time, so the race worked out perfectly.”