Stoute can beat O’Brien to fourth King George win with classy Conduit
THE TWO master trainers from each side of the Irish Sea do battle in tomorrow’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (4.25pm) at Ascot. Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien have both won the race three times and will be represented by three runners apiece. The betting indicates that Stoute is more likely to claim his fourth King George and Boylesports are as short as 10/1 for him to pull off an historic one-two-three with CONDUIT, Tartan Bearer and Ask.
Conduit is certain to go off favourite with Ryan Moore in the saddle and last year’s St Leger and Breeders’ Cup Turf hero has every right to be at the head of the market. He has been campaigned over 1m2f so far this season for breeding purposes and will relish this step up to 1m4f. His seasonal reappearance in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown was excellent, giving lumps of weight away and just failing by a hair’s breadth to beat Cima De Triomphe. He ran a solid race in the Coral Eclipse behind two very good three-year-olds and was doing all his best work at the end.
To put it simply, Conduit has the best form in the race, the best jockey in the saddle, is trained by a master and will benefit massively from the step up in trip. Ryan Moore obviously had a difficult decision to make on whether to ride him or Tartan Bearer, and the 2008 Derby second will surely be in the frame. I’m not too keen on Golden Sword and reckon his front-running style could set this up for a strong finisher. Look Here and Frozen Fire are more interesting and with conditions set to suit both, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of them run into a place.
Elsewhere on tomorrow’s Ascot card and Godolphin look like taking the listed Huggies Winkfield Stakes at 2.00pm with LAMH ALBASSER. He was very impressive at Newmarket’s July meeting and was worth a good deal more than the official 1 1/4 length winning margin. Tom Dascombe’s Party Doctor is definitely the danger after a very good third in the Chesham here last month, but the winner and second were both beaten at Newmarket.
The John Gosden yard is beginning to hit full throttle again after an uncharacteristic lull in early June and LOCH LINNHE (3.15pm) looks very interesting dropped to handicap company for the first time. He ran really well at the July meeting and should be able to see off this lot. Michael Bell has been a staunch supporter of Hayley Turner during her break and he would like nothing more than to give her a big Saturday win. She has an excellent chance with SECRET SOCIETY in the Abu Dhabi International (3.50pm) who is well drawn, has no weight and is a recent course and distance winner.
For those of you who can’t wait for tomorrow, don’t miss Michael Jarvis’s BALAAGHA in today’s 3.50pm at Ascot. She missed the break at Newmarket last time out and finished with a rattle to get within a length of the shock winner, so will love this step up to a mile. The best bet of the weekend though is in the 6.10pm at Newmarket this evening where I expect BRUTON STREET to get off the mark. He made eye-catching progress in the final furlong at Nottingham last time, in a race which is working out very well, and has been crying out for this step up to 1m4f.
BALAAGHA (3.50pm Ascot)
BRUTON STREET (6.10pm Newmarket)
LAMH ALBASSER (2.00pm Ascot, tomorrow)
LOCH LINNHE (3.15pm Ascot, tomorrow)
SECRET SOCIETY (3.50pm Ascot, tomorrow)
CONDUIT (4.25pm Ascot, tomorrow)