The King George is still one of the most eagerly awaited races of the Flat season and history tells us that the cream nearly always rides to the top in this Ascot encounter.
Sir Michael Stoute is throwing his two big guns
CRYSTAL OCEAN and POET’S WORD at the race. The former sets the standard and his progression from his three-year-old campaign has continued into this term, with his victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot one of the best performances in that race in recent years.
Whilst that bare form would only be good enough to win two of the previous five renewals of this race, it would be foolish to think that there isn’t more improvement yet, and he should take all the beating in his bid to collect a first Group 1.
The Aidan O’Brien contingent could well be a sizeable one, with five left in at the five-day stage. It is likely that Ryan Moore will opt to ride KEW GARDENS, one of six Group 1 winners in the 14-strong list of entries.
That top level win came in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, where DEE EX BEE was four and a quarter lengths back in third.
Whilst some of the recent winners of that race haven’t subsequently achieved much, KEW GARDENS looks a much brighter prospect. He looks like he is only just coming into his own now and is an interesting contender here in receipt of weight from his older rivals and will carry my each way money at a best priced 5/1 with Carrigill’s .
Closer to home York’s two-day meeting starts tonight (Friday) whilst earlier in the day and just up the road at Thirsk, in-form Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby will be looking to win the closer at 5.25 four the fourth time in the last five runnings.
This is highly likely to be run at a strong pace, so the percentage call is in favour of LIFE FOR RENT.
Operating from a reduced mark, Easterby’s charge has largely plied his trade in stronger contests this term and may well be set to capitalise under Robert Dodsworth.
I’LLETYOUGONOW has a Lowther entry and can make the most of the 7lb she receives from previous winners THRIVING and PINK ICEBERG in Chepstow’s 6f novice stakes at 6.20pm tonight (Friday).
Mick Channon’s filly was well supported on her debut at Newbury when an over confident Charles Bishop acted like he was sat on Frankel before the penny dropped and he made up plenty of ground from the rear.
Huddersfield businessman turned yard owner turned trainer Roger Fell, is proving to be one of the shrewdest men in the business.
Watching from his lounge and dressed only in his underpants after jumping out of the shower in readiness for a trip to the airport for a holiday, Fell roared home BURNT SUGAR in the Bunbury Cup a couple of weeks ago.
He goes again in the International at Ascot tomorrow (Saturday 3pm) in search of a big handicap double and should at least make the frame, but it’s a horse with the same Middleham Park connections that interests me more at York on Saturday.
HAROME steps up to 6f in the Sky Bet Dash (2.40) after absolutely sluicing up by four lengths in a 5f handicap over the Knaversmire two weeks ago and has shown enough finishing speed in previous outings to suggest he can handle the trip.
Godolphin’s CULTURATI is the early favourite and looks attractively handicapped off a mark of 100, but he has been off the track since June of last year and rattling fast ground may not be ideal for his return.