Saturday’s big horse race lived up to the hype and in thrilling fashion. The Peter Schiergen-trained Danedream claimed the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in one of the year’s strongest field of runners. Betting tipsters had placed stock in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner but had to contend with John Gosden’s Nathaniel who, two weeks ago, claimed the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.
In the final two furlongs, both sprinters emerged from the middle of the pack although it looked as if Nathaniel was going to enjoy a dominant lead all the way through. However, Danedream would find an opening on the outside and gave an unexpected burst of speed in the final few meters. At the finish line, photos would reveal that Danedream barely edged out Nathaniel by less than a nose in one of the most thrilling races of the year – call it a win by a nostril.
St Nicholas Abbey was regarded by betting tipsters as the ante-post favourite after claiming the Dual Coronation Cup. Other runners included Reliable Man (French Derby winner), Sea Moon (Hardwicke and Voltiger winner), Dunaden (Melbourne Cup winner), Brown Panther (St Ledger 2nd), Deep Brillante (Japan Derby winner) and Masked Marvel (St Leger winner).
However, Gosden’s Nathaniel took a commanding lead in the final third of the race on what was shaping up to be a dominant triumph until Danedream displayed her blazing speed in the final few seconds. Heading into Saturday’s showdown, Danedream lead the impressive group in Timeform weight-adjusted ratings and she won the Baden-Baden last May.