Johnny Murtagh is looking forward to getting back aboard Dylan Thomas in tomorrow’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Murtagh last rode the Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old to finish third behind Sir Percy in last year’s Derby and the son of Danehill has had five different partners in the interim.
Traditionally seen as the mid-season championship, this season’s renewal has been described in some quarters as being a bit below-par.
However, Murtagh, who won the race on John Oxx’s Alamshar in 2003, believes the contest is still one of the highlights of the year despite its detractors.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Murtagh.
“It looks like it is going to be a tough race and hopefully there will be no ’heavy’ in the ground and I’m looking forward to riding him again.
“Last time I rode him was in the Derby and he ran a great race to finish third.
“I forced the pace that day but I’ll have a chat with Aidan O’Brien beforehand to see what the tactics will be tomorrow.
“He’s a Group One winner over a mile and two so he should have plenty of pace, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“He’s finished second in his last two races but both Manduro and Notnowcato who have beaten him are Group One winners themselves.
“I’m having a real good run at the moment and it kind of snowballs. You get on one and the others follow – success breeds success.
“I’m really looking forward to it and it was great to get the call up, it’s the biggest race of the summer.
“Everyone is trying to knock it but you ask any trainer or owner what race they would like to win and the King George would be right up there.
“I won it on Alamshar a few years ago and I’m sure it will be just as sweet second time around.”