Just a month after the conclusion of Royal Ascot, we return to the prestigious Berkshire venue for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes for the venue’s midsummer highlight.
The likes of Enable, Galileo, Dancing Brave and Shergar have all graced the trophy in the past four decades, highlighting the kudos attached to winning the Group 1 prize.
In 2021 we could have a cracking clash of the generations with this year’s Derby winner Adayar and last year’s Oaks and Guineas heroine Love set to adorn the Ascot track.
A small but select field of six are set to take their chance in the 1m4f event, and we've cast our eye over the likely candidates.
The King George principles
She conquered everything that came her way last season, with three Group 1 victories to her name; the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks and Aidan O’Brien’s filly looks as good as ever this year.
Dropping back to 10f mightn’t have seen her at her optimum in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but she was nothing if not tough, battling away to hold off Audarya for a ¾l victory. This extra quarter-mile will likely be more to her liking so conditions might be in her favour.
While she met the colts last month, those she could mix with here might just be a step above her Royal Ascot opposition. Plus, while she received weight from the boys last time, she’ll be giving it away to the three-year-olds here, including a Classic winner.
It’s been 20 years since the Epsom Derby winner followed up in the King George in the same season, when the recently departed Galileo did the double. In the meantime, three others have tried, with Kris Kin’s third the best result with Anthony Van Dyck the most recent.
Charlie Appleby’s colt confirmed what we’d all suspected when the step up to 1m4f in the Derby proved the making of him, streaking clear to win the Classic under Adam Kirby.
The form of the race has been given a nice boost with Hurricane Lane, back in third on the Downs, winning both the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris subsequently.
He’s set to receive 8lb from Love, which will come in handy as he faces his sternest test yet, and with St Mark’s Basilica getting the better of the older brigade in the Eclipse, there’s a chance we’ve got a decent bunch of three-year-olds.
A dual Group 1 winner overseas, John Gosden's four-year-old has yet to really show his class on home soil. Victorious in the Prix du Jockey Club last term, he looked to be a live Arc contender back at Longchamp, before connections opted for a run in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
The son of Make Believe ran flat on that visit to the Berkshire venue, eventually finishing eighth behind Addeybb on what would be his final 2020 start.
This year started off in better fashion, with David Egan guiding him to valuable pots in the Saudi Cup and the Sheema Classic at Meydan. He was put in his place by St Mark's Basilica in the Eclipse which might have many questioning his ability to give weight to the younger generation, but with his trainer offering up an excuse of rustiness for that run, he's impossible to fully rule out.
Best bets for the King George
Getting chunks of weight from the likes of Mishriff and Love, the Epsom hero Adayar looks like he might be the best value bet in the Group 1 on Saturday.
Both all-age Group 1s over a mile or further have gone to the three-year-old's so far, so it might be that we have a decent bunch on our hands.
This race has been the target every since that win in the Derby, and with his Classic form being franked day by day, we might could be on for the first Derby-King George double in 20 years.
As well as the main event, we've got tips throughout the Ascot card which also happens to be Tote's latest World Pool event. Visit our Ascot Tips page for more info.