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Thursday 14 July 2016

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Preview, Saturday, July 23

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the highlights of the season on the flat calendar. The Group One contest, run over the 1m4f distance at Ascot is one of the first opportunities for the cream of the crop in the three-year-old division to take on the older horses in what is always a fascinating contest. This year it is a five-year-old who is leading the betting in the form of Postponed. Defending champions don’t have a great record in the race though, as only two horses in history have won the King George in back-to-back renewals, so there are plenty of reasons to take on Roger Varian’s runner with a couple of outsiders.

The Grey Gatsby (16/1) is no stranger to Group One success and may be worth another chance in the horse racing betting  where he is a decent price to land the spoils. The 2014 Prix Du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner has been craving better ground throughout the early stages of the season. The grey clearly does not enjoy soft ground but was forced to make do as connections could not wait until July to give him his opening run of the campaign. Despite those outings being on far from ideal ground, they at least ensure he is sharp and ready for his shot at the King George. 
Kevin Ryan’s runner was second recently at Newmarket in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes. It was his first attempt at the 1m4f trip where he seemed to stay every inch of the 12 furlongs. Jamie Spencer held his horse up in the early stages of the race and was only beaten by Big Orange who made all of the running. With hindsight, Spencer would probably have ridden his horse closer to the action as he just gave his mount too much to do in the closing stages of the race.

"Belmont Park" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by  Five Furlongs 

Deauville (20/1) goes into the King George buoyed by a big race success in the United States, as he was the winner of the Belmont Derby at Belmont Park earlier this month. The three-year-old will be making his first appearance against the older horses at Ascot and may be able to shine again in Group One company.

The son of Galileo should be suited to this 1m4f trip, despite his 11th place finish in the Derby at Epsom earlier in the campaign. That poor performance may have been due to the track, as some horses never show their best form on the downs.

Deauville was second earlier this season in the Dante Stakes at York, where he was beaten by less than a length by Wings of Desire. He was highly thought of coming into his three-year-old campaign as he was able to score twice as a two-year-old, with one of those wins coming in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown. Aidan O’Brien knows his stable really well and if he feels his horse is good enough to run in the King George, you have to feel he is also good enough to win the race.


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