Another horse has guaranteed himself a spot in the Breeders' Cup to be held November 4th and 5th at Churchill Downs. The $1,630,380 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Sponsored by Betfair (English Group 1) which ran on Saturday at Ascot Racecourse in England was a Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" race. The winner of the race, the three-year-old Nathaniel, has now earned his spot in the Emirate Airlines' Breeders' Cup Turf.
The win was marred by the fatal breakdown of the Goldophin-owned Rewilding. Rewilding and jockey Frankie Dettori trailed the field through most of the race, but as the field was heading for the finish, Rewilding misstepped, tossed Dettori, and tumbled to the ground. Dettori had to be helped off the track, but was relatively uninjured, although he did take off his mounts the rest of the day. After breaking his front leg, Rewilding had to be euthanized on the track.
The short field of five was full of quality Group 1 winners except for the ultimate King George winner, Nathaniel. Nathaniel was the only three-year-old in the field and was making a jump up in class. His owner, Lady Rothschild, paid £75,000 to supplement the colt to the field. However, Nathaniel showed his Group 1 ability when he finished second only a half-length behind Frankel in his debut. That is the closest any horse has come to the undefeated Frankel.
When Nathaniel and jockey William Buick made the move from second to first, the favorite and multiple Group 1 winner, Workforce, was not far behind. However, Workforce drifted wide into the stretch and was unable to do better than second. St. Nicholas Abbey was third. The early pacesetter and winner of last year's Grade 1 Arlington Million, Debussy, was fourth.
Photo: Courtesy Breeders' Cup