I am sarf of the river at the Oval for the annual jaunt for the Test Match on Friday;
just in case I am in no fit state to type Saturday morning (wouldn’t be the
first time) my thoughts on the big race the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday follow.
Whether the Group One King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes holds the same prestige as it once did has been up for debate in recent seasons but it still holds a place in my heart as one of the big summer races and it’s a decent line-up for this years renewal due off at 3.35 on Saturday.
The midsummer highlight has Highland Reel and brother Idaho due to line-up as well as Jack Hobbs whilst Ulysses will bid to become the first horse in 24-years to win the Coral-Eclipse and the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same season - a double last achieved by Opera House in 1993 and before that the great Nashwan in 1989. If that isn’t enough for you some feminine sparkle has been added with John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah making the decision to run dual Oaks winner Enable. It had looked likely that she would head to the Yorkshire Oaks after her stroll in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh but she now tackles older horses, and of course colts, for the first time in her career in this. With the weight-for-age scale and filly allowance on OR’s she is as near as a stone well-in! You could get 11-8 about her in the build-up and I took that. Enable and Jack Hobbs are joined in the line-up by stablemate Maverick Wave, who is expected to be on pace-making duties. Frankie Dettori is in confident mood saying on Wednesday "I rode Enable yesterday morning and believe it or not she dumped me on the floor. I was like, 'thanks very much! Luckily, I fell standing up but she still dumped me. She is just full of herself right now and raring to go" Enable carries 8st 7lb, very close to Dettori's minimum weight. "It's been a tough rehabilitation but I'm delighted to report I'm feeling good and getting stronger every day. I'm glad to say the physio is all done but I'm still training myself in the gym and I can't wait for this weekend," Dettori said in his Ladbrokes blog. "I got allotted 8st 7lb in the King George which is my bare minimum, so I need to keep my weight down. My diet is all boring stuff at the moment - white fish, vegetables and water. It's grim! She was the reason I came back from injury so early. She really is special. I pushed myself so I could ride her in Ireland and it was worth it. The King George is a tough race but I'm really excited. She's getting a big weight allowance so she's entitled to be at the head of the market." Highland Reel is an obvious danger but I cannot get him right and just can’t back him.
There is also a punt to be had earlier on the card. I put up Nyaleti for the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes over six furlongs at the July Festival over at HQ where she was second to Clemmie. She is out in the Group Three Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes due off at 1.50. There does not look to be anything of the class of Clemmie or her Royal Ascot nemesis September in the line-up so she is fancied to get back to winning ways. 2-1 was about on Wednesday and I took it. Talking on Tuesday Mark said Johnston said: "She is an intended runner in the Princess Margaret at Ascot on Saturday. She's in good form and Ryan Moore rides. That's the plan."
On Sunday out in Deauville at 2.55 Qemah goes in the one-mile Group One Prix Rothschild and I have 7-4 about the four-year-old and member of the Triple G Dirty Dozen. I am sure she should have too much for the likes of Usherette and Roly Poly (if O'Brien send her over).
Be lucky or
should I say Howzat!