The German owned and trained four year old won by 5 lengths at a great price of 13/2. As I told members earlier in the week, I thought this to be the one that was being overlooked, it having beating the favourite Cirrus Des Aigles last time out.
But, like many, I thought the firm ground might be against Novellist. That was not the case. With the reliable Johnny Murtagh in the saddle, the win was assured from the moment horse and jockey struck the front and won, going away, in a time of 2 minutes 24.60 seconds.
Trainer Andreas Wohler said: “I can’t believe it. To win a race like that in track record time is beyond my dreams. He was really impressive. He will have one race beforehand and the Arc is the main target in the autumn.”
Jockey Johnny Murtagh said Novellist compared favourably with the three previous horses he had steered to win this cash rich race.
Murtagh said: “He’s a high-class horse and has a good engine. “I love the way that when I asked him he really stretched, he really got down and wanted it. I can’t thank the owner enough, I was their third choice but I was probably worth waiting for.”
My selections, Trading Leather (to win) and Hillstar (each way) came second and third respectively. The last named returning profit for those who go on when I did, at odds of 10/1.
Ryan Moore had previously ridden Novellist to victory overseas. But he had to ride for his first boss, Sir Michael Stoute, once he had paid £75.000 to get his promising Hillstar into the race. The third place finish ensured they got that supplement fee back and more.
Stoute said: “I’m delighted with him. I don’t think we’ll be dropping him in class now. It was a good solid effort and he is still going the right way.”
Although the pace seemed to be a fast one, it wasn’t fast enough for Jim Bolger, trainer of second placed Trading Leather.
He said: “That was very satisfactory. Everything went well until the last furlong and he probably could have done with a bit more pace early in the race. He’ll go to York for the Juddmonte and then the Irish Champion Stakes.”
It sounds as if many of those who raced at Ascot on Saturday will go to York, in August, for the Juddmonte International. That ppromises to be a cracking race.
You can watch back the King Geroge VI & QE Stakes, in full, via this link