Saturday, 21 July 2012

What a Group 1 Race We Have To Savour

We have a fantastic day’s racing in store today, the second day of Betfair weekend, with the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) the headline race and due off at 4.35pm.

It is a race that is looking as though it will not only one of the Group 1 races of this year’s British Flat season, but also of the international racing calendar with many of the world’s leading middle-distance turf horses in the line up.

Of the 10-runner field, six have travelled to Ascot from abroad, with the furthest jet setter being the Japanese-trained runner Deep Brillant; the mileage the horse has had to travel has not been listed in the Racing Post’s “furthest travellers to Ascot” slot.

A case can be made for so many of the runners. Race favourite Nathaniel is bidding to make it back-to-back wins in the race and was impressive last time out when winning the Eclipse Stakes (G1); the improving Sea Moon, second in the Breeders’ Cup (G1) to St Nicholas Abbey last year, beat Dunaden when taking the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot; St Nicholas Abbey is coming here in the peak of form after winning the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Epsom and finishing second to the top performer Cirrus Des Aigles at Meydan in March.

The hard-knocking Dunaden, the Melbourne Cup (G1) winner last November, put in his best race so far when second to Sea Moon here, and while this season Danedream has not rediscovered her winning Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) form, she is a high class filly and the winner of three Group 1s.

The Japanese raider could be anything. Winner of the Tokyo Yushun (the Japanese Derby), he gets a serious three-year-olds weight allowance and is by Deep Impact, who is developing into one of the most exciting young stallions in the world.

Making up the rest of the field is last year’s Prix du Jockey-Club (G1) (French Derby) winner Reliable Man, who was fourth in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at the Royal meeting; the Michael Owen-owned Brown Panther, winner at last year’s Royal Ascot, a runner-up in the St Leger (G1) and a Listed winner in June; Masked Marvel, winner of last year’s St Leger (G1) and, finally, Robin Hood, who is fulfilling pace making duties.
In total, the field has already won an amazing 14 Group 1 races between them.

Which horse will be the one to make it 15?

With the sun having at last appeared and the ground turning good, there will be no excuses for any runner and we are guaranteed a thrilling race. If looking to steer away from the race favourite, then St Nicholas Abbey, a 9-2 chance at writing, might be a bet worth having.

Whatever your fancy, this is going to be a race to savour.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This