Since 1980, how many Derby winners have won the King George in the same season?
To avoid any confusion, the ‘King George’, in this case, refers to the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which is run over a mile and a half at Ascot in July. Since 1980, a total of seven Derby winners have won the race in the same season as their success in the Epsom Classic; interestingly, since 2000, just two have done so.
In 1981, after winning the Derby by a record 10 lengths, Shergar, trained by Michael Stoute and ridden by Walter Swinburn, made short work of six rivals at Ascot, winning by 4 lengths at odds of 2/5. Reference Point, trained by Henry Cecil and ridden by Steve Cauthen, and Nashwan, trained by Dick Hern and ridden by Willie Carson, justified favouritism in both the Derby and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in 1987 and 1989, respectively.
In 1991, Generous, trained by Paul Cole and ridden by Alan Munro, won the Derby by 5 lengths and the King George by a record 7 lengths. In 1995, Lammtara, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, returned from a 302-day absence to win the Derby under Walter Swinburn, breaking the track record in the process, and followed up in the King George, under Frankie Dettori.
In 2001, Galileo, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Mick Kinane, beat a strong field, headed by 2,000 Guineas winner Golan, at Epsom and justified odds-on favouritism at Ascot. After a lengthy hiatus, in 2021, the Frankel colt Adayar, trained by Charlie Appleby, became the latest three-year-old to complete the Derby – King George double.