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Ascot King George Meeting Preview And Betting Tips - Saturday

Ascot King George Meeting Preview And Betting Tips - Saturday

There are two days of high-class action in store at Ascot this Saturday and Sunday with the Qipco King George Weekend centre stage at the Berkshire track. A bumper nine-race offering on Saturday afternoon is underway from 12.40pm through until 5.20pm with the feature King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (3.35pm) starring history-bidding Enable and a trio of Ballydoyle opponents. Enda McElhinney from the Racing Post brings you his betting preview and tips for Saturday’s race card.

 


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12.40 - Anders Foundation British EBF Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes (6f)

This two-year-old event historically has tended to prove a strong contest and there are enough hefty price-tags involved here to be confident that will be the case once more.

MAYASS is the pick from those that have run. William Haggas' 425,000 gns Dark Angel colt finished fourth on debut at Haydock this month on soft ground, looking likely to be learning from his experience. With a jump forward likely and better ground in his favour, he should be there or thereabouts for a stable in flying form (26 per-cent strike-rate from 53 runners lately).

It's not hard to find potential amongst the newcomers. Hamoudi for Roger Varian, Inveigle for Michal Bell in the Royal colours and Richard Hannon's Mohawk King are all likely to be winning races soon; but it might be worth noting Owen Burrows (2-5 with juveniles this year) has chosen this starting point with Minzaal, a nicely-bred Mehmas colt with plenty going for him on paper.

Selection: Mayaas

Next Best: Minzaal

 

1.15 - Betfred Supports Jack Berry House British EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes (7f)

Again, the formbook is barely blotted for this novice heat, with only ISLE OF MAY having seen the racecourse thus far.

The Kodiac filly cost connections ?250,000 as a foal and while she was sent off 20-1 on debut at Newmarket's July Festival, she ran a really pleasing race in closing to be second behind all-the-way winner She's So Nice that afternoon. Sixth-home Miss Jingles came out and won at Sandown this week and, with Frankie Dettori engaged in the Godolphin silks this time for John Gosden's charge, she may go one better given the benefit of that experience.

With Charlie Appleby handing debuts to both Creative Flair and Renaissance Ros, this could be a sea of Godolphin blue, while Light Refrain, Zabeel Queen and State Occasion make solid appeal on their respective pedigrees for leading yards.

Selection: Isle Of May

Next Best: Renaissance Rose

1.50 BetfredTV Pat Eddery Stakes (Listed, 7f)

A winner at Windsor last month on debut, TWAASOL really built on that effort when winning the Woodcote at Epsom on Derby Day earlier this month. Martin Harley was fulsome in his praise for the Adaay colt afterwards and it seems trainer Owen Burrows has a good prospect on his hands.

He was always going best in that contest and is fancied to make the step up into Listed company a successful one by making it a perfect 3-3, with an extra furlong very likely to see him to good effect, given how well he finished his race at Epsom last time.

St Lawrence ran well in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket recently and must be respected with his sights now lowered while Coventry Stakes third Saeiqa is likely to have a major say if he stays this extra yardage effectively for the Gosden/Dettori axis.

Selection: Twaasol @ 3/1

Next Best: Saeiqa @ 7/2

 

2.25 Moet & Chandon International Stakes (Heritage Handicap, 7f)

Having run a fine third in last month's Buckingham Palace handicap over C&D, MUTAMAASIK went to Newmarket for the Bunbury Cup this month with leading hopes (sent off favourite) but he stopped remarkably quickly around two furlongs out.

Ryan Moore eased him home and that run simply appeared too poor to be true. With Roger Varian electing to go again a fortnight later, it has got to be assumed he's shown no signs of an ailment since that HQ run and so, having looked a progressive four-year-old previously; he's afforded a second chance to shine back over a track and trip where he impressed last month despite the track bias being against him.

Shelir and Cliffs Of Capri were right behind him here last month and there's a good reason to hope that David O'Meara's charge can get in the firing line now. He, too, was in the centre-field pack that afternoon and his next start at Haydock came over a mile on soft ground; seemingly finding him struggling for stamina late in the piece.

As a result he's rated 4lb lower back here and may go well under the excellent Tom Marquand on just his fourth start after joining this trainer from Dermot Weld in Ireland.

Selection: Mutamaasik @ 17/2

Next Best: Shelir @ 16/1

3.00 Betfred 'Nifty Fifty' Handicap (Straight, 1m)

Having shaped with promise on his final start at two, EVENING SUN made a winning return at Newmarket last month in a decent novice contest where he was sent off odds-on favourite.

He readily picked up the front-running Lincoln Bright, merely having to be pushed out to stretch 3½-lengths clear at the line. The runner-up was third in a York Listed contest last weekend and with Ryan Moore enlisted now, this Muhaarar colt can take another step forward on handicap debut from a mark of 88 on his first tilt at the mile.

The standard is set by John Gosden's Tsar, who readily made a winning start in handicaps at Yarmouth this month and has the scope to go well once more from 6lb higher, albeit this is plenty tougher on paper.

Dance Fever shaped as if needing the run at Windsor on his return late last month but it's also noted that he had nowhere to run following the winner up the running rail that afternoon as he eventually finished a never-nearer fourth.

Adam Kirby takes over here on the Clive Cox-trained colt, who was unbeaten in three starts last term, and there could be plenty of improvement in him.

Selection: Evening Sun @ 11/2

Next Best: Dance Fever @ 6/1

 

3.35 - King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1, 1m4f)

A somewhat disappointing turnout of four for this midsummer highlight as ENABLE bids to become the first three-time King George winner. It's asking a lot that we might see anything quite as breathtaking as last year's sustained duel with Crystal Ocean, where the 'queen of the turf' stuck her neck out to win gallantly.

She faces a trio of Ballydoyle runners in what may prove a tactical event. Frankie Dettori rarely gets caught out in that scenario and, despite the numbers-bias in his favour, Aidan O'Brien may find the mare has the answers.

She's versatile tactically and ran a pleasing race in the Eclipse behind match-sharp (and improved) Ghaiyyath at Sandown this month. The vibes say she's spot on after that race, with Gosden having been very clear going into it that she was not at her peak. She still held off Japan to take second and can reign over that rival again in making some more history for herself now.

Ryan Moore rides dual Group 1 winner Japan but he was poor here last month as favourite for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes and seems unlikely to take the scalp of Enable.

Next best might be worth a speculative call for last year's Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.

He ran one of his better races behind Ghaiyyath in last month's Coronation Cup. He didn't back that up when favourite over C&D for the Hardwicke here but that was on soft ground and his best stuff has come on rattling fast surfaces. Oisin Murphy takes over now and while a win would be surprising, second-best may be within his compass.

Sovereign could be the pacemaker and, in that scenario, surely won't be allowed to rope-a-dope his rivals as he did to win the Irish Derby by six lengths last summer.

Selection: Enable @ 8/15

Next Best: Anthony Van Dyck @ 10/1

4.10 - Betfred.com Handicap (1m4f)

An open affair here and there may be better to come from three-year-old MASCAT for the Ralph Beckett team. The Zoffany colt shaped nicely enough at Newmarket this month on his first attempt at this trip and, with that run under his belt, can build on it. That was also on soft ground, so there's a chance of better to come on this quicker surface and the form was boosted when the third won well at Sandown this week.

Ian Williams won this last year and attempts a repeat with Arabist, a former John Gosden inmate having his first start of the season.

Amanda Perrett's Frontispiece ran a cracker on seasonal return at Newmarket to be second a fortnight ago. That was the six-year-old's first run after a wind operation and saw him re-acquainted with Ryan Moore for the first time since his younger days in the care of Sir Michael Stoute.

The handicapper only nudged him up the minimum for that run and with Moore on again, they've got each-way claims.

Selection: Mascat @ 11/1

Next Best: Frontispiece @ 10/1

 

4.45 - Frimley NHS Foundation Ascot Volunteer Drivers Nursery (7f)

Collinsbay has fair claims on form ahead of this nursery bow and will be popular in the Royal colours for the Richard Hannon/Ryan Moore alliance. He's been third in both starts at Doncaster and Windsor over 6f and likely to improve now upped in trip and tackling a handicap.

STAR CACTUS has already tackled 7f at Newmarket last month and shaped with plenty of promise in finishing second. The Uncle Mo filly represents a stable in supremely good form (37 per-cent strike-rate lately) and may make the most of the weight she gets from the likely favourite to open her account.

Selection: Star Cactus

Next Best: Collinsbay

5.20 - John Guest Racing Brown Jack Handicap (2m)

A two-mile handicap to round off proceedings and one in which the thriving SOLO SAXOPHONE may continue to call the tune. He's won all three starts since joining Ben Haslam from Dan Skelton, the two most recent of them when stepped up to this trip.

He's done so with lots in hand and this four-time winning hurdler is really relishing being back on the Flat, where he remains quite low-mileage after only eight runs. Oisin Murphy takes over now and while he's up 10lb for this latest success at York this month, it might not be enough to stall him.

Scaramanga did some good late work over 1m6f at Newmarket last month on his first start on the Flat since joining the Paul Nicholls team. Cheekpieces are added today up in trip and the Ditcheat supremo has enlisted none other than Frankie Dettori to ride. A dual winner over hurdles, he's got solid credentials in this attempt to break his duck on the level.

Selection: Solo Saxophone

Next Best: Scaramanga


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