Ascot plays host to one of the most prestigious races of the season at the end of July with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes taking place over 12f. A small but select field is likely to turn up for the race this year and here we take an early look at the runners, providing a best ante-post betting tip for the race
New Betfred customers who sign up using THIS LINK get a free bet up to £50 to use.
KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES (British Champion Series) (Group 1) – 3.50 Ascot Saturday 27th July
St Nicholas Abbey (9/4 with Coral) has come up short in this race in the last two years but on paper this looks to be his best chance to date of taking home the Group 1 prize. He won the Coronation Stakes at Epsom last time out for the third year in succession and will be looking to improve on his pair of third placed finishes in this race in recent years. Beaten by Nathaniel and Workforce back in 2011, he again finished behind the aforementioned Nathaniel last season when it was German raider Danedream who came out on top. This season the opposition looks a little weaker with his main rival likely to be the gelded Cirrus Des Aigles (3/1 with Betfred). A top class horse with three Group 1 wins to his name, he narrowly defeated St Nichols Abbey in the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2012 before he gave Frankel a good race in the Champion Stakes at this track. He ran a little disappointingly on his seasonal reappearance however and it is likely that he shows his best form over 10f.
The winner of this race was trained in Germany 12 months ago in this year they also provide a viable contender in the shape of Novellist (6/1 with Coral). He was the winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud last time out beating the like of Dunaden and Cirrus Des Aigles. He is likely to encounter the quickest conditions of his career in this race which has to be of some concern given most of his form has come on softer ground. He does stay this trip well however and is relatively lightly raced with just 9 career starts (7 wins) under his belt. Ryan Moore rode him last time out and it will be interesting to see if he keeps the ride; certainly not one to be ignored.
Closer to home Irish Derby victor Trading Leather (6/1 with Betfred) could take his chance for Jim Bolger. In the shadow of stable-mate Dawn Approach for most of his career he announced himself as a Group 1 horse with a relatively comfortable success at the Curragh last time out, seemingly relishing the step up in trip. A consistent sort, this will be much his toughest test to date against the older horses but he looks progressive and deserves to take his chance.
EKTIHAAM (10/1 with Coral) has shown a much improved level of form this year. He chased home subsequent three-time Group 1 winner Al Kazeem at the start of the season before bolting up in a Listed contest over this course and distance. He looked to be going well in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting on his most recent start before he unfortunately slipped on the bend; Thomas Chippendale (whom Ektihaam had beaten by 6L on his previous start) went on to win the race. He has suffered a small setback since then which caused him to miss the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes but he could turn up in this race for which he could be slightly overpriced. It is impossible to know whether he would have won the Hardwicke Stakes but he would surely be a shorter price for this if he had run well that day. He acts at the track and there is every chance looking at the possible runners that he may get an easy lead which would suit him (although Ballydoyle may well run a pacemaker for St Nicholas Abbey).
EKTIHAAM @ 10/1 with Coral
New Coral customers who sign up using the link below get a free bet up to £50 to use!
Follow me on Twitter @mjj000olbg