The biggest race of the weekend, and one of the biggest races in the flat racing calendar, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot takes place this Saturday.
With a couple of withdrawals earlier in the month, including Epsom Derby winner Desert Crown and last year’s winner of this race Adayar, we are left with just six runners going to post for the contest. However, in terms of quality, it’s as good as it gets, and this is one you certainly won’t want to miss.
The race betting market has been fluid this week, after the five day declarations, and is expected to hot up even further Friday and Saturday. Away from traditional bookmakers, races on the Saturday of the meeting, including the big one, are going to be eligible for bets from the Tote world pool, giving punters the chance to access huge pools with contributions from all over the world. Given the status of this race in world racing, interest is likely to be high.Open in new window
With international punters looking at the race from a different angle, the world pool has the potential to offer very different returns on bets compared to the bookmakers in the UK. Stats from the world pool meetings in 2021 were strong, if you had bet on every winner from the 17 world pool days last year, you would have seen a return of 15% more than the industry SP.
If you are looking for a win bet on the race, the Tote+ win price beat the SP 70% of the time on the world pool days in 2021. This was even higher for exotic bets, the exacta beat the forecast 78% of the time and trifecta beat the tricast 82% of the time.
On what looks set to be a huge day of action at Ascot, the world pool offers an exciting alternative to the regular betting options available.
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Race Preview
We are in for a fascinating clash with two three-year-olds taking on their elders. Westover arrives on the back of a win in the Irish Derby, and a strong third placed finish in the Epsom Derby. He was hugely impressive when winning the Irish Derby, doing so in style be seven lengths, and a win here could well take him to the top of the rankings for three-year-olds if he does it well again.
Emily Upjohn is the second three-year-old in the race, and she tasted defeat for the first time when she was second in the Epsom Oaks last time out. She went down by a short head against Tuesday in that race, and certainly lost nothing in defeat against a tough rival. Prior to that, she was awesome in the Musidora at York, and after just four career starts, there could be a little more to come from her, which adds intrigue to her profile.
Mishriff ran a great race to finish second in the Eclipse at Sandown behind Vadeni at the start of July. On a couple of occasions, he failed to get a run and went down by just a neck, leaving many people believing that he would have won the race with a clear run. He comes here looking to gain compensation for that, and will certainly have his supporters on the day. As one of the older horses in the race, he’s been there and done it all before, and has shown his class time and time again, setting a high bar that the three-year-olds have to try and hit.
Torquator Tasso was a surprise 72/1 winner of the Arc at Longchamp last year, causing a big upset in France and while this won’t be as big an upset, he comes here as an outsider looking to do the same again. There are reservations around the ground for him, he prefers it softer, and that could be enough to dampen his chances of success here. Having said that, when you’ve won one of the biggest races in the world, you cannot be discounted easily.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Broome comes into the contest on the back of a win at Royal Ascot, so has recently been to this course and done the business. However, he’s only ever won at Group 1 level abroad, in France, and the feeling is that he falls just short of that level when in the UK & Ireland. He has plenty of Group 2 winning form to his name, and based on that, he looks as though he will fall just short of what is required for a race like this.
Rounding off the field is Pyledriver for William Muir, another who looks as though he may just fall short at this level. He won the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom 12 months ago, the standout win of his career, however, nothing else on his CV is at that level, and the feeling is that he was perfect on that day and everything went right for him. He would need that to happen again here, as well as a rival or two running a little below par, and that seems unlikely to happen.
King George Race Predictions
The rock solid option in the form book is Mishriff, who ran a great race last time out despite trouble in running, and still almost won in a race that matches this in terms of quality. The three-year-olds could be special, but have it to prove against the older horses for the first time, even though they get a weight allowance for that.
It’s the rock solid Mishriff for us to take home the feature prize from Ascot on Saturday.