A small but select field will contest this year’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair), at Ascot on Saturday, with five colts heading to post. Run over it’s customary 1m 4f, the Group 1 event has always been seen as the clash of the age groups as it’s the first time this year’s Classic generation (three year olds) get to take on their elders.
This year’s favourite is Workforce, who was last seen in the Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago, going down half a length to So You Think. The noises coming from the Stoute yard over the past week have been very bullish (backed into favouritism) and it’s clear that Sir Michael has last years Derby and Arc hero in peak condition as the trainer tries to win this race for an unprecedented third consecutive year.
It is Rewilding that most takes the eye here though, the four year old is two from two this year and his neck victory over So You Think at Royal Ascot last month reads very well indeed. Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni is confident the longer trip will not be an issue and with the ground conditions likely to be on the softer side, Frankie Dettori’s mount finds himself ticking most boxes. Rewilding is currently 7/2 with bookmakers William Hill (£25 free bets), and come 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon, that could seem a generous price.
The other three runners in the race are St Nicholas Abbey, Debussy (pacemaker for the selection) and Nathaniel, with preference for the latter, who was supplemented for the race at the cost of £75,000 at the start of the week.