Friday, 24 July 2009

King George Preview

This years renewal of the famous King George takes place at Ascot tomorrow. This midsummer event has been won by some of the greats in recent years with Montjeu and Galileo leading the list of previous winners. Last year saw an epic battle with Duke of Marmalade pipping the Sir Michael Stoute trained Papal Bull by a small margin. Whilst this years race is very competitive some would argue that the quality of the race is below the standard. However with the roll of honour of this year’s field including a St Leger, an Irish Derby, a Breeders Cup Turf and an Oaks then this would suggest this race is of the highest standard.

The betting is headed by one of a trio of runners for Sir Michael Stoute, Conduit. This horse improved rapidly towards the backend of last year and graduated from an early season Epsom handicap win to a famous St Leger and Breeders Cup double. He posted a solid comeback run behind Cima de Triomphe at Sandown and then followed this up with another solid run when 3rd to Sea the Stars in the Eclipse. There is nothing of the calibre of Sea the Stars today and he looks a worthy favourite to follow in the footsteps of the owners Golan and claim this prize.

The same stable is also responsible for the second favourite in the shape of 2008 Epsom Derby runner up Tartan Bearer. This one scraped home on his seasonable reappearance before a highly creditable showing when third to Vision D’etat at Ascot. He looks sure to benefit for the step back up in trip but he doesn’t have a great win ratio and appears to lack the top class form normally required to win this race.

The Stoute trio is completed by Ask. He proved a revelation when stepped up to staying distances in the Yorkshire Cup back in May and proved the step back to 1m4f to be of no concern when getting the better of Youmzain and Look here in a classic Coronation Cup finish. The form of that race is already looking suspect though with both the aforementioned running poor races in their subsequent outings and prior to his Epsom win he had looked out of his depth at Group 1 Level.

Look Here was behind Ask at Epsom but that was her comeback run and improvement would be expected. That was not the case at the Curragh though where she ran a poor race, admittedly on bad ground, in the Pretty Polly. The return to better ground and step back up in trip will likely help her but it is a tall order for a filly or mare to win this race.

Aidan O’Brien took this prize last year and attempts to follow up with Golden Sword and Frozen Fire. Golden Sword was a shock winner at Chester and has since ran good races in the English and Irish Derby. He already looks exposed though and it is concerning to see his stablemate Masterofthehorse whose form ties in closely with him has been sold from the stable this week. At the current price he looks very short for a horse who has won just 2 out of 8 races contested. The other stable runner Frozen Fire won last years Irish Derby in fine style but has shown little form of note since. If he bounced back his best he has the potential to trouble the market leaders but he doesn’t look a horse to have much faith in and therefore would not be one to place the kids inheritance on.

The other runners all look out of their depth and it would be a massive surprise to see them troubling the judge.

This does look a fine opportunity for Conduit to add a third group one to his trophy cabinet. After writing this one off with no chance of winning last years St Leger he has proved me wrong and his Breeders Cup win showed him to be a colt of the highest order. Whilst he was put in his place in the Eclipse that was over a trip short of his best and back to his optimum trip it would be no surprise to see him land this famous prize. Of those at bigger prices it may be worth giving Frozen Fire one last chance in the hope he can recover his early 3 year old form. For the layers out there I would suggest a lay of Golden Sword in the place market.


moDtheGod said...

You bastard, I was going to do this. I've just got in but I'm off tomorrow, so I was going to put a bit of work in.

Good read anyway, I love that you're now praising Conduit - that comment about the St Leger is preobably my favourite Scoop Troop moment. I'm not sure he'll win it, but I'll have a proper look in a bit.

Will Walsh said...

Sorry- I have meaning to write a big race blog for a while and this was the one! Posted it on betfair too and got some positive feedback. You should write one from a trends point of view - would be good having something from that side of things. You have to change your opinions in racing or it costs you money!

moDtheGod said...

No, I won't write a big piece now, it just seems wrong. There's positives and negatives to doing so - imagine if I totally contradicted you, the banter would be good... but imagine if I totally agreed with you, it would be ridiculously dull and a waste of everyone's time!

That said, my gut was Tartan Bearer and after a wee look, I'm not swayed. I have doubts about Conduit. I'm not going to do a Will though :D

Just to be clear though, cos I know we've misunderstood each other in the past, I'm ALWAYS keen to hear your opinions on racing and the "bastard" stuff is larking about, honest! I haven't done a proper preview in ages and when someone at work asked me about it today, I realised I hadn't even had time to look and I thought "I know, I'll blog something!"

Git :D

moDtheGod said...

A few little points, having had more time to stew on it:

Frozen Fire cannot win this race... :)

That Irish Derby was not in fine style either, Tartan Bearer would have won had it not been massively interefered with! I'd almost forgotten about that, I was absolutely boiling at the time.

O-Brien lover ;)

I hadn't noticed that Masterofthehorse had been sold so cheers for pointing that out. Always good to keep abreast of these things.

Right, I'm fucking off to bed. I'd considered making the 2 hour trek to Newcastle tomorrow, to chalk another track off my list, but at £60 return on the train, you can get to fuck. My Railcard expired this week and I can see I'm going to miss it.

moDtheGod said...

Good call mate. TB a tad unlucky to be cut up like that but let's face it, Conduit would still have won. A good race and a brilliant training performance by Stoute.

TheHat said...

wp sir, wouldn't have thought to have a bet if you didn't post so ty.