The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race that is open to horses aged three years or older and it is run at Ascot Racecourse over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs.
As we take a look over the runners for this high profile event, it has been noted that during the past ten year, only four of those market leaders have then gone on to win this race.
Our favourite for this race as quoted by Paddy Power is Highland Reel, however other markets are showing Dartmouth to be the market leader and Coral have even got both at joint favs, it’s certainly looking to be a tricky one where the odds are concerned.
Highland Reel (11/4 Paddy Power) trained by Aidan O’Brien, is definitely a global star having run in over three different countries. Last time out was at Ascot once again and was narrowly denied by Dartmouth by a head in the Group Two, Hardwicke Stakes over course and distance, therefore should be ready to make another bid, this time for Group 1 success.
They will be going head to head once again, however with a different jockey, we will be seeing Ryan Moore is in the saddle rather than Seamie Heffernan, will this make that little bit of difference?
Aidan O’Brien also has another runner, Sir Isaac Newton (16/1 Paddy Power) he is bred to stay and previously won his last two starts at Group 3 level at Curragh that were at 10f. The extra trip will be of interest and one that I can see is able to overcome his market position.
Trainer, Sir Michael Stoute is one of the leading trainers for this race having won the title a total of five times with Shergar (1981), Opera House (1993), Golan (2002), Conduit (2009) and Harbinger (2010). This title is shared along with Saeed bin Suroor and Dick Hern.
The charge for Sir Michael Stoute is The Queen’s Dartmouth (3/1 Paddy Power), one that has been improving his campaign and has hit a whole new level this season having won three races on the bounce, the question is now, can it be a fourth? As we already know he has the course and distance behind him having won here last month but could be argued that there is more still to come and will have a bright future ahead of him if all goes to plan here.
The youngest of the competition is one of two John Gosden runners, Wings of Desire (7/2 Paddy Power). He made his debut this season and not had as much experience as the others but you can certainly see he’s considerably improved after following up an all-weather win at York in the Dante. Last time out came a galant fourth in the Derby and this time round the faster ground should suit. Frankie Dettori is searching for his big milestone of 3000 winners so no doubt his mindset will be for hunting down the winners! Will we see him jumping for joy after this race? I personally am looking forward to seeing Wings of Desire in this Group One and will be ready to take on his elders.
Gosden’s second runner is the very popular Western Hymn, a loveable horse in flat racing, plenty of experience and a very smart performer. Has never won a Group 1, however has been in group company after winning a total of three Group 3’s and one Group 2. Despite being in Group one’s before, has yet to really shine to this level. The distance in trip is a first since sixth in a 2014 Derby, so going to this trip may be something that would be required, but at the level others are at at the moment would be hard to see this taking first spot and the market is showing that, being at 25/1 with Paddy Power.
Erupt (7/2 Paddy Power), trained by F-H Graffard is a runner that has already previous has Group 1 form when winning at Longchamp back in July 2015. Since then he has been in high profile races but most recently at Saint-Cloud when coming second to Silverwave by one and a quarter lengths as he was left too much to do but certainly not disgraced. The french-raider has by far the best experience in big group races and will no doubt will want to repeat his Group 1 success again. It is however Erupt’s first time over on UK turf, the only question that remains now is how well we he take to the Ascot course?
Last years winner, Postponed was trained by Luca Cumani – now even though Postponed isn’t back to retain his crown he has still bought a charge with him for the race which is Second Step. This gelding is five years of age, an older horse in the race along with Western Hymn and is the outsider having odds of 25/1 with Paddy Power. He has been a Group 2 winner at Newmarket in 2015 and has landed a Group 1 win in Germany. His last race was another Group 2 at Newmarket this time however, we saw him drop away over the July Course and only managing fifth place. This season hasn’t been at his best performance and will be hard to see him reach the top level with the strong contenders here.
Overall, I believe Wings Of Desire and Dartmouth will be the two to fight this one out.
Dartmouth is looking for his fourth win in a row for The Queen and Sir Michael Stoute and definitely an improver that has form of already beating the runners in the race, if all goes to plan the race will be in his favour.
Wings of Desire has been a continuous improver this season and the to which I can see Dettori being able to squeeze a little more out of him and come that bit closer to his 3000 winners, the three year old is one that should be feared and with Gosden also having a strong history of this race will be one he is reaching out to win again, it’s going to be a reverse forecast for me!
210 – Dubai Hero // Frankuus (EW)
245 – Fair Eva // How (EW)
320 – Folkswood // Mustashry (EW)
355 – Heaven’s Guest // Brazos (EW)
430 – Wings of Desire // Dartmouth (RFC) // Sir Isaac Newton (EW)
500 – Fieldsman // Secret Glance (EW)
535 – Wave Reviews // Imari Kid (EW)
It’s a good luck to all the runners and riders, as always wishing them all a safe return.
I will have my fingers crossed for all connections and hope everyone enjoys a great days racing at Ascot!