King George: Love faces five rivals including Derby hero Adayar in hot renewal of Ascot Group One on Saturday

Royal Ascot winner Love faces Derby hero Adayar in huge clash at Ascot on Saturday; Broome, Lone Eagle, Wonderful Tonight and Mishriff complete the field; watch every race of the two-day King George meeting live on Sky Sports Racing

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Trainer Aidan O'Brien says King George favourite Love would prefer 'nice' ground at Ascot on Saturday but is happy with her adaptability.

Hot favourite Love is set to face five rivals in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Last season's 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine made a successful return from 10 months off the track in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and is a warm order to provide trainer Aidan O'Brien with a fifth victory in this weekend's midsummer showpiece.

The Ballydoyle handler will also saddle the ultra-consistent Broome, who has won four of his six starts this season and was last seen breaking his duck at the top level in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud three weeks ago.

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The opposition is headed by Charlie Appleby's Derby hero Adayar.

The Frankel colt was a surprise winner of last month's premier Classic, but the form has been significantly boosted by his stablemate Hurricane Lane, who has won both the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris since finishing third at Epsom.

Adam Kirby celebrates as Adayar wins the Cazoo Derby
Image: Adayar was a surprise winner of the Epsom Derby last month

The other three-year-old in Saturday's field is Martyn Meade's Lone Eagle, who was beaten by a neck into second by Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby four weeks ago.

David Menuisier has declared stable star Wonderful Tonight. The Newmarket-based Frenchman has expressed doubts about running his pride and joy on fast ground and will be hoping one of the forecast thunderstorms arrives in Berkshire.

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The small but select field is completed by John and Thady Gosden's Saudi Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic victor Mishriff.

The son of Make Believe can be expected to improve from his first start since his globetrotting exploits when third in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago.

O'Brien: 'Nice' ground ideal for Love

Love has multiple entries including the Coral-Eclipse and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Image: Love takes on five rivals in the King George at Ascot on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing

O'Brien was patient with his star filly Love at the start of the season, delaying her reappearance until better ground appeared at Royal Ascot, where she won from the front under Ryan Moore.

O'Brien told Sky Sports Racing that "nice" ground would be ideal in the King George and is content if either of his two contenders have to make the running.

On Love, he said: "She ended up making the running [at Ascot], which we thought might happen, but she's very straightforward.

"She was ridden very forward when she won the Guineas, she dropped in in the Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks. She's very versatile. She had the pace to win a Guineas and she seemed to get the Oaks trip very well. She can play it both ways.

"Nice ground would be ideal for her, she's a very good mover and doesn't rise much off the ground. If we got lovely safe ground on Saturday that would be lovely.

Broome wins the Group Two Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh
Image: Broome wins the Group Two Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh

"Broome has been running very well all year. He gets a mile-and-a-half very well and he loves to bowl along.

"In an ideal world, we'd love something to lead him as he is a horse that likes a nice even tempo.

"He's in good form. Last year was a bit of a mess with the season starting late and a lot of our horses never got into a rhythm.

"He was one of them and because of that you sort of push horses into slots that perhaps aren't ideal for them.

"We've got into a much better rhythm with him this year and everything has gone a lot smoother."

Meade: Eagle's versatility a plus at Ascot

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Lone Eagle would be able to handle a tactical King George at Ascot on Saturday due to his versatility, according to assistant trainer Freddie Meade.

The red-hot form of the Irish Derby, where Lone Eagle was narrowly beaten by subsequent Grand Prix de Paris winner Hurricane Lane, has team Meade dreaming of going one better at Ascot.

Freddie Meade, assistant trainer to his father Martyn, believes their horse's versatility could be important in a potentially tactical small-field affair.

Hurricane Lane gets up late on to deny Lone Eagle in the Irish Derby at the Curragh
Image: Hurricane Lane gets up late on to deny Lone Eagle in the Irish Derby at the Curragh

"I don't think he's a one-dimensional horse, he just likes to keep things very simple," Meade told Sky Sports Racing.

"He's not a horse that pulls and has to have cover so you can put him anywhere in the race really, which is a great thing to have going into a small runner field. He's very versatile in that sense.

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"Before Ireland, he had got pigeon-holed as a bit of a soft ground horse but I think that was just the way that the races fell. He handles soft ground very well but then he showed in Ireland that he handled that fast ground, with what was arguably his best performance.

"He was always going to improve as a three-year-old and he has done with every run this year. Hopefully, he keeps improving and we see where we get to."

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