Dual classic winner Enable leads 10 entries for tomorrow’s King George at Ascot with John Gosden’s 3yo filly a well-supported 11/10 favourite with BetVictor to beat her elders under Frankie Dettori.
The classic generation have a poor record in the mile and a half contest, winning just 2 of the last 13 renewals, however Gosden saddled both 3yo winners Nathaniel (2011) and Taghrooda (2014) respectively.
Another 3yo fancied to beat their elders is UAE King (2.45) in the 2m Handicap on the opening day of Ascot’s two-day meeting. Roger Varian’s colt is bred to be a superstar, a Frankel half-brother to super-sire Dubawi, but has been a slow burner for connections and has taken time to come to hand.
The selection arrives on the back of a winning handicap debut las time out at Sandown and, after a 6lb rise at the weights, can follow-up stepping up in trip.
The forecast good-to-soft ground should suit Hughie Morrison’s filly Pirouette (3.20) who gets the nod for the Listed Valiant Stakes over a mile.
She was unsuited by the sprint finish of last month’s Pipalong Stakes, when finishing third to the front-running Lincoln Rocks but undoubtedly looked the best horse in the race. She should improve for the application of first-time blinkers and gets the nod to reward each-way support under regular partner Robert Winston.
Ryan Moore has a good record riding for trainer Mark Johnston and looks a fascinating booking aboard Galileo colt Galapiat (3.55) bidding to concede weight all round in the mile and a half handicap. The selection was trained by Andre Fabre in France last season, and made an immediate impact for his new yard, winning competitive mile and a half handicaps at Leicester and Epsom. He has performed with credit upped in grade at Newmarket and Goodwood, and returning to handicap company can bounce back accordingly.
Moore partners Yalta in the 5f Handicap however, his best form has been on a sounder surface and preference lies instead with veteran sprinter Jack Dexter (4.25) under William Carson. The evergreen 8yo went into plenty of notebooks after finishing fourth last week at Hamilton, getting little luck in-running, and looks well-placed to continue the fine form of the Jim Goldie yard.
Evening action comes from Newmarket and York, with Laugh a Minute (7.00) fancied to shed the maiden tag under Harry Bentley. The son of Mayson should be suited by the give underfoot on the Knavesmire and, after an excellent third on debut at Ascot, can make it second time lucky for trainer Roger Varian.
Bentley must go close on connections’ Ajman Princess in the feature Fillies’ Listed Stakes over a mile and a quarter. She may struggle under a penalty however, and I’m going to take a chance on Very Dashing (7.30) under Phil Makin. She has improved on all three starts since joining the Ralph Beckett yard and, after looking an unlucky loser last time out at Newcastle, can reward each-way support at 7/1 with BetVictor.
UAE King’s efforts at Ascot will hopefully enhance the claims of Festival of Ages (6.10) shedding the maiden tag for the boys in blue at Newmarket. The selection chased home Roger Varian’s colt at Haydock, finishing second when beaten by his more experienced rival. He looks a smart one for connections, and should go one better under Adam Kirby.
William Haggas lowers the sights of The Grand Visir (8.10) who looks potentially well-handicapped from a revised mark of 85. The Frankel colt was an impressive winner of a Yarmouth maiden and was immediately fast-tracked to listed company thereafter. He disappointed in competitive races at Newbury and Goodwood, but remains open to further improvement and can return to winning ways under Pat Cosgrave.
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