Enable fights off Crystal Ocean with Waldgeist behind in the classic 2019 renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes @BHA

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Ascot Preview by Hector Steiff

A glorious Saturday’s racing is in store at Ascot with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes highlighting on the card. As the most important open Group 1 over 12 furlongs in Britain, the race never fails to attract a field of the highest quality, and this year is perhaps an even hotter race

With some sizzling weather in the run up to Saturday’s meeting, and only a small chance of rain in the long range forecast, the ground at the Berkshire course is sure to be on the quick side. That may have an impact on the declarations on Thursday, as both William Haggas’ Addeybb and David Menusier’s Wonderful Tonight would prefer some ease in the ground

This race has been dominated by John Gosden over the last decade, winning half of those including three from the great Enable. Now training with son Thady, they put up Mishriff this year in a bid for the hat-trick after Enable landed the race in 2019 & 2020. After taking the lead from Addeybb three furlongs out in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown earlier this month, Mishriff eventually faded behind that rival and winner St Mark’s Basilica to finish third, but could come on for that run

The run in the Coral-Eclipse from St Mark’s Basilica has solid form behind it as Aidan O’Brien’s charge landed the French 2000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp and the French Derby, the Prix du Jockey Club, at Chantilly. The big question is whether Mishriff has been found out at the top tier for John Gosden who has had such quality to bring to this race in recent times

Aidan O’Brien has a deep warchest at his Ballydoyle base, and St Mark’s Basilica will miss Saturday’s assignment and instead be aimed at the Sussex Stakes next week. The four year old Love is the stable first string of the Irish team from Aidan O’Brien’s yard, and she did all that was required here on this track in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal meeting despite a lengthy lay off. Unbeaten at the very highest level in her Classic season, and increasingly impressive with each run, it is now a question of whether she can give lumps of weight away to the three year olds in this fascinating race

Highland Reel takes King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot
Highland Reel takes the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2016 @Irish Times

The three year old pair are Derby victor, Adayar, and Martyn Meade’s Irish Derby runner up, Lone Eagle, who has the added bonus of Frankie Dettori returning to the saddle at a venue where he excels. Adayar seemed to come from nowhere to land The Derby ahead of fancied stablemate Hurricane Lane, though the latter did lose both front shoes in the race. However, that form can be considered franked with Hurricane Lane going on to take both the Irish Derby and the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp in his latest run

In a fascinating renewal, three contenders stand out, assuming that the ground stays on the quick side with England’s notoriously unreliable weather after a warm spell! In past years, it had been usual to see the Derby winner line up in the King George almost as a natural progression in their Classic season, but that trend has not been as common since the turn of the century. If Adayar wins on Saturday, that will be seen as a return to the older pattern

Aidan O’Brien will have Love as his main hope, though the costly Mogul and this year’s revelation, Broome, can hardly be written off, but she benefits from the 3lb sex allowance over her male stablemates and might well have even more to offer back at this track. Love is unlikely to be far away but the final nod is given to Mishriff

John Gosden has a superlative recent record in this race and his Make Believe colt showed he got this trip when Mishriff landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan back in March. He looked in need of the run at Sandown last time out and with Lone Eagle sure to be prominent can sit off the pace here, and let the opposition show themselves after the turn of Swinley Bottom, before making his move

This Preview has been brought to you by our regular correspondent, Hector Steiff

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