Talking Horses: Enable can outclass her rivals in the King George | Sport
This year’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot is deep on quality but the outcome may still be predictable. Enable (3.40) arguably faced a stiffer task last time in the Eclipse at Sandown, when short of peak fitness and tackling an unfamiliar distance, but she coped brilliantly and ought to be in even better shape now.
Crystal Ocean is very likeable but he was beaten at level weights by Poet’s Word in this race last year. Can he now give Enable 3lb and be the first to beat her since April 2017? It seems doubtful.
A superior Derby winner is hard to beat in the King George, being helped by the weight-for-age scale, but Anthony Van Dyck could not be called superior. Four rivals finished within a length of him at Epsom and he needs the cheekpieces, which have been fitted this time, to make a difference.
1.50 Ascot It has been a slightly frustrating July for Charlie Appleby, whose strike-rate has dropped to 13%, but his Summer Romance is hard to oppose here. Flashily bred, by Kingman and a half-sister to Rizeena, she looked all class in winning a Listed race last time and there should be plenty to come.
2.05 York Danny Tudhope is an interesting booking for Medahim and perhaps a big run is expected from Ivan Furtado’s gelding on his third outing of the year. He has come back down to the mark from which he won at Glorious Goodwood last year and this is his first chance below Class Two since then.
2.25 Ascot It bodes well for Wings Of Time’s chance at this wide track that he was happy ploughing a lone furrow at Newmarket last time. He held on by only a neck in that handicap debut but is clearly going the right way.
2.40 York It has been a long time since Savalas last got his head in front, in May last year, but he is on his lowest rating since and the refitting of cheekpieces seemed to help him last time. He was a fair fourth at the Dante meeting here and has dropped another 6lb since. Jamie Spencer is an encouraging booking.
3.00 Ascot It is a surprise to be getting 20-1 about a horse having as good a year as Kaeso, who won a decent pot at Chester in May and scored again at Doncaster last weekend. From the in-form Nigel Tinkler yard, he was beaten half a length in the Victoria Cup over this course and distance and that form looks strong, the winner having followed up in the Wokingham.
3.15 York Excuses could be made for Bangkok’s two defeats this year, so he is interesting, as the only three-year-old in this York Stakes. But Regal Reality looks the class act, in light of his Brigadier Gerard Stakes win and Eclipse third. It is hoped he will be a bit better behaved in the preliminaries than he has been at Sandown.