The King George VI weekend is one of the most anticipated summer events at Ascot. It features four Class 1 races over the two days including three on Saturday. The main event of the festival is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes which is one of Europe’s premier middle distance all-aged championship races.
In this article, I will focus on three of the four Class 1events including the big race on Saturday:
- Carraig Insurance British EBF Valiant Stakes (Friday)
- Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes (Saturday)
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Saturday)
Recommended Horse Racing Sites for this Weekend
Carraig Insurance British EBF Valiant Stakes
Friday, 28 July at 3:20 PM
The Valiant Stakes is a Listed race for Fillies and takes place over 1 mile. The first running of the race took place in 1998 and received Listed status in 2009. It is one of the highlights of Day One, and the winner receives over £34,000.
Betting Trends and Information
There are 10 confirmed entries for the Valiant Stakes. Although the race is only open to fillies of all ages, 3yo’s has won 13 of the 18 races although interestingly, 4yo fillies have won 3 of the last 6. Nathra is the narrow favourite at 9/4 with Golden Stunner second favourite at 4/1. Next in line is Mittens at 9/2 while the rest of the entries are 10/1+.
- 11/18 winners were in the first two in the odds market; 8 favourites have won the race.
- 18/18 winners last ran 8-90 days before the race; 16/18 last ran 8-60 days before the race.
- 16/18 winners had 1-4 season runs.
- 9/18 winners also won their last race.
The Valiant Stakes is traditionally won by one of the favoured horses and the market suggests it is a three horse race. If we go by the trends, Nathra is a worry as she has not had a run this season and was third last time out back in September 2016. Golden Stunner has a win and two seconds in three races while Mittens has had 4 runs this season including victories in the last two.
While Mittens’ form is encouraging, one wonders if she will find the step up to Class 1 a bit too much. Of the outsiders, Tisbutadream is worth considering at 10/1; she won a Class 1 race last time out at Ascot and has Silvestre De Sousa on board.
Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes
Saturday, 29 June at 1:50 PM
This is another Fillies race; it is a Class 1 Group 3 event ran over a distance of 6 furlongs. As you’ve probably guessed, the race is named after King George VI’s daughter, Princess Margaret, and it was established in 1946. It was a Listed race until 1986 when it was promoted to Group 3 level. It is normally held on the same day as the King George VI, but in 2012, it was run a week later.
Betting Trends & Information
There are 7 confirmed entries for the Juddmonte Stakes. Nyaleti is the 6/4 favourite followed by Dance Diva at 3/1 while Spring Cosmos is available at 9/2. The rest of the field are 15/2+.
- 16/20 winners were in the first two in the betting market; 12/20 were favourites.
- 20/20 winners had 1-4 season runs; 14/20 had 1-2 season runs.
- 18/20 winners last ran 8-60 days before the race.
- 15/20 finished first or second in their previous race; 9/20 won their last race.
This race has been dominated by short-priced favourites in recent years as 4 of the last 5 winners set off at odds of 15/8 or shorter; this included two odds-on favourites. Interestingly, 4 of the last 6 winners came from Stall 1.
Nyaleti was excellent when runner-up to September in the Chesham Stakes and will take some stopping if she repeats the performance. Ryan Moore is already booked for the ride, so the intrepid combination is a worthy favourite. Dance Diva is an interesting option having followed up two Class 5 wins with a Class 1 win this season.
Spring Cosmos is only having her second run after a win in a Class 2 event so there is no telling how good this Filly could be. It speaks volumes about her chances that the talented William Buick has chosen her as his mount.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Saturday, 28 July at 3:35 PM
This event is one of the biggest Flat races of the summer and is guaranteed to feature a host of world class horses. The remarkable 1975 renewal is known as the ‘race of the century’ as Grundy defeated Bustino in a time that has yet to be beaten.
Numerous winners of this event compete in the Prix de d’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s most prestigious Flat race, later in the year. The winner takes home £652,000 from a total prize fund of over £1 million. The race takes place over 1m 4f and is open to all horses aged 3+. The event was first to run in 1951 and remains a major attraction for Flat racing lovers.
Betting Trends and Information
There are 10 confirmed entries for the King George VI Stakes. Enable is the favourite at 6/5 followed by last year’s winner Highland Reel at 4/1. Jack Hobbs is next on the list at 9/2, and the rest of the field are 10/1+.
- 13/20 winners have been in the first two in the betting market; 9/20 favourites have won the race.
- 16/20 winners have had an SP of 6/1 or shorter.
- 17/20 winners were aged 3 or 4.
- 15/20 winners last ran 16-60 days before the race.
- 15/20 winners had 1-3 season runs.
Although short odds horses tend to fare well in this event, there have been three 6/1+ winners in the last five years. Enable is likely to start and it is hard to oppose the Epsom Irish Oaks winner, especially with Frankie Dettori as jockey. However, last year’s winner Highland Reel will have a say should he enter although he prefers fast ground.
It is worth noting that the odds on Enable are shortening fast and he could be odds-on by race time. Meanwhile, Highland Reel’s odds are widening rapidly. Softer ground will give Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs a chance. Other high-quality entries include former Eclipse winner Ulysses (10/1) along with a former Prince of Wales winner My Dream Boat (25/1).
Horse racing sites are now taking outright bets on the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Use the following chart to plan your bets and ensure you back your horse at the site that is offering the best payout for your picks.