Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with five to follow on Saturday at Ascot, York and Newcastle. View selections below
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the highlights of the flat racing calendar and with the announcement of the name of the Royal baby earlier in the week it perhaps has even more significance this weekend.
The antepost favourite St Nicholas Abbey, sadly, suffered a career ending injury on the gallops earlier in the week and the hope is that the colt’s life can be saved for stud duties. In his absence French raider Cirrus Des Aigles will be all the rage but I think this can go to the classic generation and Irish Derby winner Trading Leather (3.50).
The stats say that the 3-y-olds haven’t had much success in the race of late (Nathaniel 2011 only winner in last nine renewals) but few have actually taken part in the race and the 12lbs the Jim Bolger-trained runner receives from his elders can make the difference. I was impressed with his latest win at the Curragh in a very fast time and he is clearly going the right way.
There is little rain forecast but if it did materialise then the German raider Novellist would be a major threat having won both his starts this term including in Group 1 company last time; we had a German winner of the race 12-months ago and it would be no surprise if Novellist wrote another chapter in the history of this great race.
The French trained Cirrus Des Aigles is now seven and is officially the best turf horse in the world following the retirement of the great Frankel last season; soft ground would be a major plus but I think he is vulnerable and take the classic generation and Trading Leather to come out on top.
King GeorgeVI & QE Stakes; prices from BetVictor:
Cirrus Des Aigles 6/4
Trading Leather 9/2
8s Bar the rest
In the opening Gp 3 Princess Margaret Stakes it is hard to look beyond Wind Fire (2.05) who finished third behind the American raider No Nay Never in the Gp 2 Norfolk Stakes last month when the only filly in the race. The step up to 6f should suit and, back against her own sex, she can return to winning ways although a note of caution; the runner up at Royal Ascot Coach House was subsequently well beaten at the Curragh.
I think we still haven’t seen the best of Glenard (5.35) and with top weight and likely favourite Big Thunder 10lb higher than for his last win at Haydock the Charlie Hills-trained runner can fulfil the promise he showed at Windsor last time when stepped up in trip to 12f for the first time.
At York the feature race can go to Mukhadram (2.55) given he will not have Al Kazeem chasing his tail on this occasion; the selection has finished in the frame in both the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Eclipse this summer and this is certainly a drop in class which he should take advantage of.
Noble Deed failed to give his running at York last time and I expect him to leave that effort behind at Newcastle but Nardin (2.30) is taken to return to winning ways dropping back to six furlongs although he wouldn’t want a tactical affair at this trip and I would hope connections would not be averse to making all.
For all your racing odds check out betvictor.com and do note we will be refunding losing bets on the runner up at Glorious Goodwood next week