Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saturday's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Nine go to post for Saturday's big race at Ascot where the going is currently described as good to firm, good in places - the forecast predicts showers on Friday and sunny spells on Saturday. The race is often billed as the classic generation, the three-year-olds, against the older horses; this year just three from the classic generation take up the challenge - Sea The Stars is the main absentee, preferring to go to the International at York next month.

Sir Michael Stoute has three entries, with Ryan Moore choosing Conduit rather than Tartan Bearer or Ask, the only course and distance winner in the field. The bookmakers have set their wares out accordingly - Conduit has been installed 7/4 favourite; in the last ten years the favourite has won on seven occasions. On official ratings stablemate Tartan Bearer has three pounds to find with the market leader. Aidan O'Brien also runs three, Johnny Murtagh opting to ride Golden Sword. I envisage 200/1 chance Rockhampton going off in front, with Murtagh keeping his charge prominent, much as happened in the Irish Derby where Golden Sword finished second behind another Ballydoyle inmate, Fame And Glory. Those behind wouldn't want to give Golden Sword too much rope - stamina is his forte - as was the case in the Chester Vase which he won from the front at the rather rewarding odds of 25/1. O'Brien's other runner, Frozen Fire, isn't one to trust and for that reason is passed over. Ralph Beckett's Look Here is a filly I like, will have trip and conditions to suit and is of interest at around the 7/1 mark - I'm prepared to forgive her last effort at the Curragh over ten furlongs. Having said that, a filly hasn't won this since Time Charter way back in 1983! The race looks trappy enough with Stoute and O'Brien runners making up two-thirds of the field; the percentage call has to be Conduit but at the prices available I'll look to have an each-way dabble on Look Here who wouldn't want too much rain to fall before the off.


Noel Bell said...

GeeDEE what do you make of Golden Sword's weight for age allowance? I suspect the allowance is generous this time of year.

GeeDee said...

Yes, Noel, replying after the race has been run, but the weight for age (twelve pounds) does look generous. Only caught snatches of the BBC coverage, but think it was John Gosden who made the same point. Race tactics were as many had predicted; Golden Sword had first run and every opportunity at the home turn but wasn't a factor - in my book he's better than what we saw here.

GeeDee said...

The three Sir Michael Stoute runners finished 1-2-3 in the King George, netting their trainer over £700,000 in the process; Conduit (13/8f) beat stablemates Tartan Bearer (7/2) and Ask (9/1) one and three quarter lengths and a head. A stewards' inquiry looked into the winner's sudden jink right inside the final furlong which caused some interference to the second but didn't spoil his chance - Ryan Moore had the whip in the correct hand. Nevertheless the winning jockey received a three-day ban for careless riding. I'd have to say Look Here (7/1) was disappointing in this, failing to settle early on and then failing to get competitive up the home straight - she finished a well-beaten sixth. In the aftermath there was plenty of talk of the Arc from connections; the going is often on the easy side at Longchamps which wouldn't necessarily suit today's winner. This evening Coral stand out by offering 10/1 Conduit for the French showpiece in October - I'm not tempted.