CRYSTAL TO BE OCEANS APART FROM KING GEORGE RIVALS
15:40 Ascot – King George The VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Billed as one of the biggest races of the flat season outside of the classics The King George The VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is synonymous with top-class horses. The list of great past winners is so long it’d be cruel to name any for fear of leaving a star out.
This years renewal is no exception with a star studded lineup thrust upon us once more.
Arguably one of the best horses in recent years Cracksman returns to action after going down to a rival for the first time in six former runs. His conqueror that day Poet’s Word is set to do battle once again. If Cracksman were at his very best there’s no doubt the form would be reversed but despite finding the winners enclosure twice this term John Gosden’s charge looks far from his best with a few laboured efforts. It’s hard to tell which Cracksman we’re going to see come race day so both are left well alone.
The Irish charge is lead, as ever, by the Ballydoyle team who send over both Hydrangea and Rostropovich. Top jockey Ryan Moore opts to climb aboard Hydrangea who’s been somewhat disappointing in two runs this year. It’s very eye-catching however to see the former course and distance winner step back up in trip and it wouldn’t be a shock to see her get in to the thick of things if one of the more fancied runners were to falter.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute is set to saddle the aforementioned Poet’s Word who has an obvious chance but he has another that’s seemed even more impressive recently.
Undefeated in three races this season the four year old colt Crystal Ocean deserves his spot as race favourite. He’s done nothing wrong this year and seems to have improved further on last years exertions. A horse that looks to be going places and although he’s never won a race of this magnitude he’s shown it looks well within his grasps.
Likely to be a short price he isn’t going to bring punters a wheelbarrow full of cash but he’s likely to etch his name on to a very prestigious honour roll.
CRYSTAL OCEAN (WIN) – NAP
13:50 Ascot – Scintilating (WIN)
14:25 Ascot – Sam Gold (E/W)
15:00 Ascot – Firmament (E/W)
14:05 York – Culturati (WIN)
14:40 York – Golden Apollo (E/W) & Tommy Taylor (E/W)
15:15 York – Elarqam (WIN)