King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes Day
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King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes Day

It's Group 1 fare from Ascot on Saturday via the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes and the mile-and-a-half clash of the generations has attracted a top class field. There are seven races at Ascot from 1.50pm-5.20pm and the Racing Post has previewed all the action.


1.50pm - Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (Fillies' Group 3, 6f)

No shortage of potential here and LEZOO sets a clear standard despite shedding her unbeaten record in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket at the start of the month. Ralph Beckett's filly ran to a high level in finishing a half-length second behind Mawj in the July Course event and wasn't aided late on as the winner carried her left. There may be compensation now for Frankie Dettori's filly.

That's not to say it will be straightforward, with four unbeaten rivals (winners of five races) to contend with now. Her stablemate Palm Lilly is a daughter of Expert Eye and the 290,000 gns purchase won well at Kempton in the spring on debut, while William Haggas' Royal Charter is by the same sire and made a winning start at Newmarket four weeks ago. George Boughey's Kinta is 2-2 on the all-weather, easily defying a penalty at Kempton this month to follow-up an opening score at Lingfield and could be the danger.

Selection: Lezoo

Next Best: Kinta


2.25pm - Longines Valiant Stakes (Fillies' Group 3, 1m)

Novemba was fourth in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes over C&D at last month's Royal meeting here, her second credible run at that meeting. However, for all that it was promising and the former German 1000 Guineas winner has run well in some quality races, she may find this tough going conceding weight to some useful-looking three-year-olds.

Roger Charlton's Jumbly was not beaten far in the French 1000 Guineas but needs to bounce back from a lesser run in Germany since, and is a player if doing so, but Roger Varian has a strong hand to play here.

Zanbaq, the mount of Jim Crowley, finished an excellent second under a big weight in the Sandringham over the straight 1m here at the Royal meeting last time and deserves a crack in this company having been slightly impeded in that 29-runner contest but maybe stablemate KIND GESTURE is the market value.

The Decorated Knight filly won a Wetherby novice (7f, good) on second start in June and has since gone to Windsor (1m, good to firm) and blitzed 11 rivals by 10-lengths from the front. She has the potential to build on that for Andrea Atzeni.

Selection: King Gesture

Next Best: Novemba


3.00pm - Moet & Chandon International Stakes (Heritage Handicap, 7f)

Bless Him was delivered from last-to-first by Jamie Spencer in vintage style to score at Newmarket a fortnight ago, thwarting Ropey Guest late on. He carries a 3lb penalty now but, given he got there with a degree of ease, should not be underestimated from what is still a good mark. His strike-rate on grass is 4-31 however, so it's far from certain he will be in the same mood.

The aforementioned Ropey Guest is actually worse off with his conqueror on these terms and despite that near miss following a cracking run here in the Buckingham Palace Stakes last month, his own strike-rate of 1-28 on turf means he, too, is opposable for win purposes now.

Northern Express, Fresh and King Zain all have their merits in a tough race but perhaps two worth focusing on are TACTICAL and Air To Air.

The latter is on the up after a winning comeback at Yarmouth over this trip in June and he has the ability to make his mark in a race such as this. So, too, does Andrew Balding's Royal runner.

A solid fifth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes last month, he wasn't disgraced back here since in the Group 2 Summer Mile and with Ryan Moore back in the plate, this classy son of Toronado has valid claims at double figure-odds.

Selection: Tactical

Next Best: Air To Air


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

There are only six runners but this is a quality Group 1 contest, with two exciting three-year-olds taking on some established older rivals.

Mishriff was a close second in this last year before winning York's Juddmonte International in some style. He arrives back for another tilt having looked slightly unfortunate to only finish second in the Eclipse at Sandown last time and the extra distance is in his favour.

German contender Torquator Tasso looks a big price, despite the fact that last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner might want softer ground, while last month's Hardwicke Stakes winner Broome could be the one to force the race but came up short in this race a year ago.

Pyledriver has most to prove following his Coronation Cup second behind Hukum at Epsom last month.

Also second at Epsom was Emily Upjohn, the bridesmaid in The Oaks. She suffered a nightmare start in that contest and finished well despite a wide trip, denied only on the nod. There's a big run in her and, alongside Mishriff, she gives the Gosden team a strong hand.

It's WESTOVER, third in The Derby, that gets the nod. Whether he could have got to Desert Ocean is a moot point, but he'd surely have been second-best bar meeting traffic and his point-and-shoot Irish Derby win since showed he's a high-class colt.

Colin Keane is rewarded for that facile Classic win by retaining the ride and this son of Frankel could be too strong again.

Selection: Westover

Next Best: Mishriff


4.10pm - Flexjet Pat Eddery Stakes (Listed, 7f)

Naval Power is a top contender for Charlie Appleby, bidding to win this race for the third time in four years, following his wins at Yarmouth and Leicester. He was very strong through the line last time, though that form isn't all that strong, and likely has more to offer.

Finn's Charm gained valuable experience running fourth in the Chesham Stakes over C&D last month and should go well again, but BAJAN BANDIT gets the nod for Richard Hannon. He's won this race in recent times with Toronado and Chindit and clearly likes to aim a good one at the contest. The Oasis Dream colt had to be game to make a winning start at Salisbury last month and that experience should stand him in good stead now upped in class.

Selection: Bajan Bandit

Next Best: Naval Power


4.45pm - Porsche Handicap (Str, 1m)

Last month's Britannia Stakes was filed as 'one that got away' for Frankie Dettori and Saga. They had to come from behind a wall of horses and rattled home to be denied a head. If the headgear works a second time, his 8lb rise in the ratings is heavily offset by Benoit De Le Sayette's claim and a big run is in the offing.

The filly Random Harvest was also inched out at the Royal meeting in the Kensington Palace Stakes and she's been back here for a slender success over C&D since under Saffie Osborne - they remain players despite a 4lb rise with more anticipated.

POWER OF DARKNESS shed any cobwebs with a fair third at Newmarket at the start of the month on first start since September and could be a leading player now for Marcus Tregoning with that run banked. He's a former C&D winner and could be on a workable mark if able to build on that comeback run.

Selection: Power Of Darkness

Next Best: Saga


5.20pm - Garrard Handicap (5f)

Mountain Peak held off Bond Chairman over C&D a fortnight ago and returns now to defend the race he won last summer. Ed Walker's 7YO is arguably as good as ever and holds strong claims in the hands of Ryan Moore. He may again hold sway over Bond Chairman.

Lovely Mana wasn't far behind the pair in fourth last time and, also being a former C&D winner, is one to consider but KING OF STARS could land the finale for Mick Appleby and Silvestre De Sousa.

He ran very well on his penultimate start when second at Sandown and his visit to Chester since is readily overlooked as things went wrong for him exiting the starting gates. As a consequence, he's back on his last winning mark and has SDS back on board for the first time since that win at Yarmouth in September.

Selection: King Of Stars

Next Best: Mountain Peak






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