Ascot King George Preview

Ascot Races

It’s King George weekend at Ascot this weekend, with the King George itself bringing us arguably the finest Group 1 race we will see in the Flat season in 2019. Tom Wilson in collaboration with GIVEMEBET takes a look through the feature races on the card.

1:50 Ascot 6f Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo)

The market here is headed by Goldoplin Filly, SUMMER ROMANCE. She was impressive last time out at Newmarket and comes to a track where her sire, Kingman, has already experienced success with 2yos Calyx and Kingbrook. That said, she’s short enough in the market at the moment, currently offering at 5/6 with GIVEMEBET and The track record of Godolphin horses when sent to this race is 0/3, with 0 places since 2008. Perhaps a cause for concern for the boys in blue.

At the prices, I’d be tempted to side with ULTRA VIOLET, hailing from the Ed Vaughan yard. At 11/2 with GIVEMEBET she looks to be the value in the race. She was incredibly impressive when winning by 8 lengths on debut at Newmarket at the end of June and has the capability to improve and serve it up to SUMMER ROMANCE. Her sire, Gleneagles, is enjoying a strong start as a stallion, having sired Royal Lytham who won the July Cup earlier this month.

At a bigger price, it’s worth mentioning UNDER THE STARS for James Tate. He was a solid 3 length on debut at Ripon and since that race the 2nd placed horse has come out and won twice since, albeit in Class 5 and Class 6 company.

UNDER THE STARS really struggled early on that day until the penny dropped; he broke late, but then showed a good turn of foot to be easily clear and then eased down. There could be more to come and he’s an intriguing 22/1 with GIVEMEBET.


3:00 Ascot 7f Moet & Chandon International Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+) 

The Top 3 finishers in this race last year line up again here; Burnt Sugar, Ripp Orf and Arbalet. The market seems to centre around two of them, namely Ripp Orf and Arbalet. 

ARBALET is fast becoming a distance specialist and he drops back to his prefer 7f trip here. He’s 2/7, 4 places when running over 7f and is 0/7 when run over any other distance. Taking a look back into his form, his 2nd in the City of York Group 3 race last year, when beaten by Expert Eye, who subsequently went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the US would seem like a standout piece of form.

For those who like their bigger priced runners, LARCHMONT LAD could significantly outrun his current odds of 40/1. He drops back into handicap company here, after running in Group races for the majority of his career. He runs off a handicap mark of 106, with claimer Scott McCullagh taking off 5lbs. The horse loves the trip and he’s 3/11 with 6 places when raced over 7f, winning the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh over the same distance.

Ascot Races



3:40 Ascot 1m4f (1m3f211y) King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1)

The Queen of racing, ENABLE, runs in the King George following her victory in the race in 2017. A re-match with the highest rated horse in training, CRYSTAL OCEAN, promises to be an intriguing contest.

Whilst most racing fans will be supporting ENABLE and hoping that she lights up the Ascot feature on Saturday, there can be no sentiment when it comes to betting and I will be looking to oppose her. Aidan O’Brien, sends Derby winner ANTHONY VAN DYCK to this race, a first step up into open company. He gets a weight-for-age allowance which pushes his ratings beyond those of Enable and Crystal Ocean to level weights. The Ballydoyle team are clearly up to something here, as they fit ANTHONY VAN DYCK with first time Cheekpieces, following his Debry victory. A tactic they used to great success with Circus Maximus earlier in the year. With the potential for improvement and a generous weight-for-age allowance, I feel that ANTHONY VAN DYCK could upset the party here.


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