Select Field Of Eight Declared For King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, first run in 1951, takes place this Saturday and features a small but select field.
Only eight horses stood their ground at the latest forfeit stage and although this years race will feature one of the smallest fields in the history of the Group 1 contest, a mouth watering clash of the generations is in prospect.
Workforce attempts to become the first Derby winner since Galileo in 2001 to follow in the footsteps of such great champions as Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar in winning both contests.
An impressive 7 length victor at Epsom, Sir Michael Stoute’s charge is a top price 11/10 with sportingbet, with stable companion Harbinger next in the betting at 5/2 with Betfred, Boylesports, Paddy Power and StanJames.
In 1975 Derby winner Grundy beat the year older Bustino in a clash that has been rightly labelled " The Race of the Century."
It may be asking too much for Workforce and Harbinger to provide a contest to rival that event of thirty five years ago, but such is the impression created by both animals this season that a titanic battle is very much on the cards.
The Aidan O’Brien stable relies on Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco, conqueror of Workforce in York’s Dante Stakes, and possible pacemaker At First Sight.
The former is a best price 7/1 with William Hill while the latter is a 66/1 shot after two disappointing recent efforts.
On 14/1 are globetrotting mare Dar Re Mi and Youmzain, second in 2007 and third the following year behind Duke Of Marmalade.
Daryakana ( 16/1 generally ) is set to represent France, although trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre issued a word of caution saying:" She prefers firmer ground and if there is a lot of rain she might not run. "
Completing the line up is another Sir Michael Stoute inmate, in the shape of Confront.
Odds of 200/1 strongly suggest that a pacemaking job is the order of the day for the Nayef gelding.