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Secret State secures King George V prize

Secret State grimly held off the late thrust of Deauville Legend to win the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Always fairly handy behind the pace set by Frankie Dettori on Franz Strauss, William Buick got a dream run up the rail on Charlie Appleby’s lightly-raced three-year-old.

Sent off the 4-1 joint-favourite, the colt by Dubawi out of Jacqueline Quest, who lost the 2010 running of the 1000 Guineas in the stewards’ room, had won at Chester and Nottingham already this season.

In truth he looked a sitting duck inside the last half a furlong as both Israr and then close home Deauville Legend threw down stern challenges. However, Secret State held off the latter by a head and was introduced by Betfair into the St Leger market at 14-1.

“We were keen to get out and get a nice pitch, it’s one of those races that can be hard work if you’re in the second half of the field so our plan was always to be in the first half,” Appleby said. “William got him out, got him in a good pitch.

“The pace was steady enough so you know you had to be in the right position when they started quickening. He got that first run on them and the one thing I was always confident of was that this horse will always find.

“He’s done it on every occasion and today, we’re very pleased and he’s a horse with a profile that’s going the right way.

“We’d be bold enough to say we might work into something like a (Great) Voltiguer (at York), we’d be stepping from handicaps into Pattern company there but he’s done little wrong.”

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