King George VI Stakes Betting Tips
This year’s edition of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is set to run on Saturday 29th July. Inaugurated in 1952 as a tribute to the Queen’s parents, the race is recognised the ultimate British middle-distance race for all age groups. The Group 1 flat horse race run at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs and is open to horses aged three or older.
A huge prize of £600,000 is on show for the winner, with the likes of Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O’Brien and Saeed bin Suroor entering their prize horses into the contest. O’Brien has won this race three times in the last ten years and four times in total, one short of Stoute and bin Suroor who have each accrued five King George victories.
Last year’s winner was Aidan O’Brien’s Highland Reel, who enters this year’s race as heavy favourite in the markets. Jockey Ryan Moore wrapped up only his second King George win of his career on the Irish stallion, following a 2009 win on Sir Michael Stoute’s four year old Conduit. Last year was actually the first year that a favourite has won the race since Moore on Conduit.
Highland Reel is ahead of the pack in the betting once again as punters attempt to pick holes and flaws as ever. The now five year old followed up a tremendous victory here in 2016 with Breeders’ Cup, Coronation Cup and Prince of Wales’s Stakes wins and it’s tough to argue that O’Brien’s champion won’t pull off a second successive King George success. Two of his competitors in this race, Jack Hobbs and Ulysses came up very short in the ten furlong Prince of Wales race.
If there ever was a flaw in Highland Reel, it is that a five year old hasn’t been triumphant in this prestigious event since 1999 when Frankie Dettori rode home to victory on Daylami for bin Suroor’s stable. Under the ride of Moore, Highland Reel was also beaten at a similar distance in the Hong Kong Vase at the end of last year, highlighting how he is beatable at this length even with his best jockey on board.
One horse very much capable of pulling it off is John Gosden’s three year old Enable who has won three of his four races this season, with his one loss coming without favoured jockey and King George veteran Frankie Dettori on board. Sire of 2011 winner Nathaniel, Enable has the Cheshire Oaks, Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks to his name already this season and loves running at this distance.
Without knowing the ground conditions on the day, backing Highland Reel who is nearly past his peak seems the bold choice given odds of just 5/4 with bookmakers. His other nearest competitors haven’t shown enough in competitive outings to be backed, but three year old Enable is available at 9/4 with Coral and absolutely should be your choice given his pedigree.