King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2018
What a race this is and it has been won by some great horses over the years. Daylami, Montjeu, Galileo between 1999 – 2001 and more recently Nathaniel, Taghrooda, Postponed and Enable.
A race for all ages and the best racehorses in the business.
At the time of writing (26th July) 8 horses have been declared and I am going to start with the talking horse of today CRACKSMAN who has be declared for the race. Trainer John Gosden has said he only runs if we have significant rainfall. With thunderstorms forecast for Friday and into Saturday he could potentially get the rain required. Whether it will be enough to get into the rock hard ground is another thing and he was very disappointing at Royal Ascot. He is as low as 3/1 on Saturday which leaves no value at all on his current form this season.
Cracksman was easily brushed aside by POET’S WORD at Royal Ascot and is currently fighting for favouritism with the another Sir Michael Stoute horse in CRYSTAL OCEAN who was also a winner at Royal Ascot.
In winning the Prince Of Wales Stakes POET’S WORD won his first Group 1 race at odds of 11/2. It was a classy performance which followed a win in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May. He looks better than ever this season and the way he went by Cracksman effortlessly last time out was the sign of a horse at the peak of his game. He is running over 1m 4f for the first time this season but has won over the distance previously and he could turn out to be even better over further. James Doyle retains the ride as expected.
Sir Michael Stoute is odds on to win this race as other joint favourite CRYSTAL OCEAN has also also been in the form of his life this season with 3 wins from 3 races. He will not be partnered by Ryan Moore for the first time this season as he is retained to ride HYDRANGEA for Aiden O’Brien. CRYSTAL OCEAN will be trying to win his first Group 1 race and despite winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot I don’t think he was as impressive as POET’S WORD.
Of the rest you would have to say CORONET is the main danger to the top three in the market especially getting 3lb filly weight allowance. She was beaten just a nose to the Andre Fabre trained Waldgeist last time out at Saint Cloud on ground probably against her. Her better form is on better ground and Ascot is a course she runs well at. At odds of 10/1 if 8 horses run that is a fair price.
Another filly getting weight allowance is is the Aiden O’Brien trained HYDRANGEA. I can’t have her one bit on the evidence I have seen this season with two terrible runs. Both runs have been over 1m so it does make me question Aiden O’Briens plan here as she is up to 1m 4f. She was a winner last season on Champions Day at Ascot and that was over 1m 4f. We have seen the trainer do something similar this season with US Navy Flag. He kept running him over 1m then dropped him to 6f for the Diamond Jubilee which he absolutely bolted up in. Is he up to his old tricks here? Has HYDRANGEA been trained for this race all season?
Aiden O’Brien also has ROSTROPOVICH here but he is not good enough at this level even with 3 year old weight allowance.
SALOUEN and DESERT ENCOUNTER are also surely not up to this level.
I don’t think Cracksman will end up running here and even if he does on what I have seen this season, the price of 3/1 does not tempt me at all.
Crystal Ocean won well at Ascot but this is another step up in class and the fact Ryan Moore is not riding, may prove to be a big negative.
If we have 8 runners I may be tempted by the 10/1 available on Coronet but that would be a bet to wait until the day as if Cracksman don’t run, only 2 places are available.
Hydrangea is also interesting at odds of 12/1 but you are trying to 2nd guess the trainer. On what we have seen this season she won’t be winning but let’s just say Aiden O’Brien has a tendency to be ‘dodgy’ on times.
The rest are simply not good enough which leaves me with POET’S WORD as a fairly confident bet Non Runner No Bet with lots of bookies. He has looked a very good horse this season and at Royal Ascot he was so impressive. He has not got the credit he deserved for winning the Prince Of Wales Stakes and he didn’t just win it, he smashed the field. If you look back to 3rd and 4th, they are 10 lengths behind. I also think POET’S WORD could be even better over 1m 4f this season. He is certainly a better horse this season and this is his first run at 1m 4f this season.
If Cracksman doesn’t run I can see POET’S WORD going off as short as 6/4 so the 9/4 around is actually decent value.
POET’S WORD 9/4 generally – 1 POINT WIN
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