King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Saturday 27th July 2019

Saturday sees one of the most prestigious all-age 1m4f contests run anywhere in the world take place at Ascot, as the Berkshire venue plays host to the 2019 edition of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Nijinsky, Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef, Shergar, Dancing Brave and Galileo are just a few of the names to feature on what is a simply stellar roll of honour, but who will be joining them in 2019?

The younger performers look set to be pretty thin on the ground this year, with only two remaining amongst the entries at this stage. We fancy they – and everything else – may be biting off more than they can chew in taking on just about the most talented filly in training.

Top Tips

Enable @ 4/6

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

1m4f is the trip for this Group 1 contest, set to be run on good to firm ground this year and offering a whopping £1.25million in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Firm 1m4f Group 1 £1.25million 11 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

One of the most intriguing aspects of this contest is the battle between the generations it represents, as the three year olds tackle their elders. It is those runners aged four and older who have held sway in recent years, winning 16 of the past 21 renewals.

King of the hill amongst the trainers is the Newmarket legend that is Sir Michael Stoute. Stoute’s success with Poet’s Word last year was his sixth in total, moving him out in front on his own as the all-time leading handler in this prestigious event.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Poet’s Word 7/4 Sir Michael Stoute James Doyle
2017 Enable 5/4 John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2016 Highland Reel 13/8 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2015 Postponed 6/1 Luca Cumani Andre Atzeni
2014 Taghrooda 7/2 John Gosden Paul Hanagan
2013 Novellist 13/2 Andreas Wohler Johnny Murtagh

Analysis: Flying Frankie To Strike Again

The 2019 edition of this race looks set to be a real cracker, featuring a sensational mare, the runner up from last year, this year’s Derby king and international raiders from both France and Japan. This is a race not to be missed.

Queen Enable To Reclaim Crown?

Red hot favourite this year is the John Gosden-trained wonder-mare, Enable. Now unbeaten in her past 10 starts, this brilliant daughter of Nathaniel took this prize in grand style in 2017 on her only previous visit to the track. Having unfortunately missed the race due to an injury setback 12 months ago, she bids to reclaim her crown this year, and it will likely take something very special from one of her rivals to stop her.

A dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, she returned to the track with a confident success in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown and is expected to come on considerably for that run. The fact that man of the season to date, Frankie Dettori, is in the saddle certainly won’t hurt her chances either.

Doyle At The Double?

James Doyle claimed this prize for the first time in 2018 when just getting on top in a thrilling finish between his mount, Poet’s Word, and fellow Sir Michael Stoute runner, Crystal Ocean. With Poet’s Word now retired to stud, it is Crystal Ocean with whom Doyle will attempt to steer to glory this year.

Only beaten a neck 12 months ago, he’s a prefect three from three this season, including in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at this track last time out. That’s strong form, and whilst he was beaten by three and a half lengths by Enable in their only previous meeting, he will be five pounds better off with the superstar here.

Van Dyck In The Picture

No real surprise to see that it is Aidan O’Brien who is the most strongly represented trainer in the race, at least in terms of numbers, with four of the current field of 11 hailing from his Ballydoyle operation. The clear pick of that quartet is this season’s Epsom Derby hero, Anthony Van Dyck.

Not since 2001 and the mighty Galileo has a Derby winner landed this prize, and whilst there are already those knocking the standard of this year’s colts’ classic, we wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss his claims. He may have been beaten in the Irish Derby last time out, but the eventual winner Sovereign looked to be given way too much rope out in front that day, and it was Anthony Van Dyck who finished comfortably the best of the rest.

Final Verdict: Enable to win

This looks a pretty tight renewal on the ratings, with only three pounds between Enable, Crystal Ocean and Anthony Van Dyck once weight for age and sex penalties are factored in. Anthony Van Dyck does make some each way appeal, but the top two in the market boast the more solid books of form and may well have it between them.

Crystal Ocean has the stronger form from the current season, but then again Enable has had just the one run so far, and does have a previous verdict over the Stoute runner in the bag. Considering she was reportedly only 85% to 90% fit for her win in the Eclipse, it must be rated as a more than satisfactory comeback and she just gets the vote here.

About

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a Military Base During World War II
War Office official photographer, Spender (Lt), Wikimedia Commons (Image Cropped)

You will not find a bigger open-age flat race in the UK than the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Unmatched in terms of status, the Group 1 contest is Ascot’s most prestigious mid-summer event and one of the racing highlights of the season. Unlike many big races, the only requirement is that horses are over three-years-old. Fillies and mares benefit from a three pound allowance while southern hemisphere four-year-olds enjoy a four advantage.

The long name of the race is a result of it being an amalgamation of two events. The King George VI used to be a two mile contest held in October while the Queen Elizabeth was four furlongs shorter and was run in July. Neither lasted long though as just a few years after their inception Ascot’s Course Clerk, Major John Crocker Bulteel, merged the pair. He did so in the hope of creating an internationally recognised one and a half mile contest for horses aged three and above, and how he managed that.

There were certainly big plans for the future of the race when it first featured in 1951 during the Festival of Britain. Although there have been some minor tweaks to its name, as well as various sponsorship deals, it has stayed true to what Crocker Bulteel had in mind all those years ago. From its humble origins, the King George as it is commonly referred to, now stands as the second most valuable race in Britain, second only to the Derby. It also serves as a route into the Breeders’ Cup Turf with King George champions handed automatic entry to the big American held contest.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Awaits?

There are many future possibilities for a horse who has won a race as important as the King George, including the Arc. Arguably the most prestigious horse race on the continent, it is one of the few races that would top a King George victory. Ran over the same distance and also available to three-year-olds and above, many who feature in Ascot’s top summer spectacle often wind up at Longchamp in October. King George champions don’t consistently make the trip but those that do tend to put in a decent shift across the Channel as you can see below.

King George Winners at the Arc: 2006 - 2017

Year King George Winner Arc de Triomphe Finish Distance Beat
2017 Enable 1st -
2016 Highland Reel 2nd 1¾ lengths
2014 Taghrooda 3rd 3¼ lengths
2009 Conduit 4th 2 lengths
2008 Duke of Marmalade 7th 3¾ lengths
2007 Dylan Thomas 1st -
2006 Hurricane Run 3rd 3 lengths

Race of the century

Racehorse Grundy and Jockey Pat Eddery

You’ll never find any agreement on what should hold the title as race of the century but it is something often attached to the 1975 King George. Even watching it back today, it’s hard not to get excited about it, such was the intensity of the battle between Grundy and Bustino.

The latter was joined by two stable mates who set a blistering early pace in an attempt to tire the famously fast finishing Grundy. It very nearly worked too as down the home straight the 5/4 on favourite pulled level with Bustino but was unable to go clear. The two continued to battle with no more than a neck’s length in it but Grundy just managed to hold on. It remains a battle any racing fan simply has to see and it’s available to watch below.

Harbinger stuns Ascot crowd

While the 1975 edition of this race has gone down as the top renewal of the 1900s, we’ve already seen an early contender for king renewal of the 21st century. Unlike before, the 2010 running of the King George didn’t see a famous battle between two horses down the home straight, quite the opposite in fact.

There was nothing to separate the leading four horses two furlongs out but it was at this point that Olivier Peslier set Harbinger loose. To say the son of Dansili blew the field away would be an understatement. He drew clear of the field with truly frightening ease, winning by a record-breaking 11 lengths and clocking a then record time of 2:26:78. See Harbinger’s devastating finish in all its glory below.

Age unable to hold back Poet’s Ward

The age trends for this race were very much against Poet’s Ward ahead of the 2018 renewal of the King George. Prior to his narrow success over Crystal Ocean there hadn’t been a winner older than four this century. Despite being open to all ages, it has very much been a race for younger horses, as you can clearly see in the chart below. The inability of older horses to make their mark in this race combined with the tendency to retire winners to stud, has led to a distinct lack of multiple-time champions. Only two horses have won this race on more than one occasion, Dahlia (1973, 1974) and Swain (1997, 1998).

Chart Showing the Ages of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Winners between 2000 and 2018

Fillies Rarely Taste Success

Older horses haven’t fared well in this race and neither have the girls. Following Time Charter’s victory in 1983, we went nearly 30 years without a female winner. The drought finally ended courtesy of the German trained Danedream in 2012. Despite her Arc victory in the season earlier, the filly set off an unfancied 9/1 shot but once again produced big to become the first female double winner of the two races.

After such a long wait, another filly champion emerged just two years later in the form of Taghrooda. Riding over a stone lighter than some of her rivals on an account of age and gender, the John Gosden-trained horse secured an impressive three length win.

King George Winning Fillies & Mares

Year Horse Trainer Jockey
2017 Enable John Gosden Frankie Dettori
2014 Taghrooda John Gosden Paul Hanagan
2012 Danedream Peter Schiergen Andrasch Starke
1983 Time Charter Henry Candy Joe Mercer
1976 Pawneese Angel Penna Snr. Yves Saint-Martin
1974 Dahlia Maurice Zilber Lester Piggott
1973 Dahlia Maurice Zilber Bill Pyers
1969 Park Top Bernard van Custem Lester Piggott
1966 Aunt Edith Noel Murless Lester Piggott

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