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Adam McNamara on the King George VI

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Adam McNamara on the King George VI

We’ve been treated to some top class racing over the past few weeks and that looks set to continue this weekend. The King George VI is going to be a proper Group One and it’s a race I’m really looking forward to watching.

Love was completely in a league of her own last year and her reappearance in the Prince of Wales, although not as visually impressive as some of her past performances, showed us she’s certainly trained on. She will probably be better over Saturdays trip as well but this is going to be a different test to the Prince of Wales.

This year's derby winner Adayar heads the challengers and he could be up to the task. It was hard not to be taken by his turn of foot at Epsom, and no derby is easy to win. His profile is a progressive one and he could easily have more improvement to come. The Irish Derby second Lone Eagle ran a blinder behind Hurricane Lane at the Curragh, who subsequently went on to take the Grand Prix de Paris. If you tie the English Derby form across to the Curragh, you could argue that Lone Eagle has a few lengths to make up with Adayar but at this stage of the season with these improving three year olds nothing is for certain.

Wonderful Tonight was another filly who impressed us all last year and is another who returned to the scene with a victory at Ascot. I’m sure connections will be doing a rain dance in the hope that these forecast thunderstorms come in time to soften the ground, and if it does her price will be shortening up. I think she could take all the beating in this if there’s juice in the ground.

Mishriff has been a globetrotting superstar over the past few months and has more then paid for his flight tickets along the way, but I wasn’t overly impressed with his domestic return. Albeit he was third behind two very good horses, he just looked a little vulnerable to me. I’d hope he proves me wrong on Saturday and can put in a stronger challenge, because his run at Sandown definitely didn’t convince me as a career best. It’s a tricky race to work out as they’re all top level performers, but if I had to throw my hat in the ring I’d probably side with Wonderful Tonight in the hope that the rain comes and it falls in her favour.

I’ll also be interested to watch the Princess Margaret at Ascot. This Group 3 is filled with plenty of unexposed fillies and it will be exciting to see who comes out on top. There was very little to split Desert Dreamer and System in the Empress and a case could be made for both here.

Attagirl was very impressive last time at Haydock for the in form Karl Burke yard, but I was more impressed with Nazanins win first time at Newbury. Newbury maidens are never easy to win, and albeit the form from that run doesn’t jump off the page, she’s entitled to come forward for that and I’d expect her to put in a serious bid here. Her owner is pretty familiar with this race having won it a few years back with Princess Noor and I think he’s got a good chance with this filly.

A good friend of mine, Ben James, trained his first winner a few weeks back. Vitalline won at Lingfield under Hollie Doyle for Whitcombe Racing and Michelle Crook. I first met Ben when he was assistant to Michael Bell, and later spent plenty of time with him when he was assistant to Roger Charlton. I was immediately taken by his knowledge of form. He’s an encyclopaedia for past winners and bloodlines and he’s taken to training like a duck to water. I’ve spent a couple of mornings riding out for Ben down at his base in Dorset and it’s hard not to be impressed with the set up. The yard and boxes look fantastic, with a huge indoor school, walker and decent gallops.

Ben is almost obsessive with his attention to detail and likes to be very hands on around the yard, whether it’s riding out or mucking out. He has some lovely two year olds in for Mrs Crook, so keep an eye out for those later in the year. There’s no doubt it’s a tough business starting out as a trainer but I’d have my money on Ben to rise through the ranks sooner then later, and it’s a matter of time before more owners start flooding through the gates. Unfortunately due to my injury I didn’t get the chance to steer home his first winner, but I’m really looking forward to linking up with him when I’m back.

As for myself, I underwent surgery two weeks ago to repair the damage to my shoulder. Geoff Graham, my consultant and surgeon, was very happy with how the surgery went and hopefully we won’t have any more trouble with it. For now I’ll be in Oaskey House every day working hard to keep the fitness levels up and try to get the shoulder back to full strength and working order as soon as possible. 

Harrowells offers specialist legal support to trainers, breeders, racecourses, owners and jockeys. Our sponsorship of professional jockey, Adam McNamara, is one of a number of initiatives undertaken in support of the horse racing industry.

Adam is not an employee of Harrowells Limited and is sponsored under a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) compliant sponsorship contract. The views he expresses in his blogs and on his social media accounts are his own.

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