King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes 25/07/2015
The Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the top mile and a half races in the calendar. The 1975 clash between Grundy and Bustino is still widely regarded as the finest horse race of all time. Other great winners include The Minstrel (1977), Troy (1979), Shergar (1981), Dancing Brave (1986) and Nashwan (1989).
Bookmakers have put up Snow Sky as the early market leader following his impressive victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old will have to be supplemented for the £1.15 million contest at the cost of £75,000. Snow Sky started at 12-1 at Ascot with stable companion Telescope 6-4 to repeat his victory in the race from 2014. Pat Smullen sent the son of Nayef straight into the lead and it may have been a move which disappointed Telescope who dropped away tamely in the straight. He finished second to Taghrooda here last year.
Snow Sky had previously beaten Brown Panther in the Yorkshire Cup but showed that he could be equally effective over a mile and a half. He missed the Derby last year through a minor injury and was third in the St Leger behind Kingston Hill.
John Gosden’s Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn looks destined to take his chance in the Coral Eclipse with stablemate Mahsoob a more likely King George runner. He is unbeaten in four races, the last three being competitive handicaps. He won the ten-furlong Wolferton Handicap by half a length off a mark of 106 which still leaves him some way short of Group 1 level.
Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Free Eagle is set to bypass Ascot with the Juddmonte International at York or the Irish Champion Stakes thought to be more likely targets. Eagle Top and Postponed finished second and third behind Snow Sky after becoming involved in a barging match and they could renew rivalry here. Gosden has spoken out angrily about the riding tactics employed by Adam Kirby on Postponed in that race but will have been delighted with Eagle Top’s run.
The Grey Gatsby ran a great race at the Royal meeting but he is not certain to line-up here while Derby runner-up will run in the Irish Derby. Dolniya looked set to win the Coronation Cup but faltered in the closing stages and lost out to Pether’s Moon. Flintshire was slightly disappointing in third but he would certainly have each-way prospects if Andre Fabre elects to run him at Ascot.
Snow Sky @3-1 Betfair (NR-No Bet)