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King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)
- Royal Ascot
Won in 2011 by Nathaniel whose first crop of foals included the Epsom Oaks winner Enable, this is certainly a race to watch with an eye towards the future as this one and a half mile contest can throw up some useful horses for the future. Our King Edward VII Stakes tip and betting preview is below.
IN SUMMARY: Crystal Ocean and Sir John Lavery both look like strong candidates at their best but this can go to Sylvester Kirk’s SALOUEN, whose thirteenth place finish in the Derby doesn’t tell the full story. He clipped heels turning for home and when was again hampered when staying on to try and snatch a place. That run showed he is more than capable at this level.
1 BEST OF DAYS – Smart two year old for Hugo Palmer who capped a short campaign with a win in the Group 2 Royal Lodge on only his third start for connections. He now goes up markedly in trip and faces his toughest challenge yet, with several big questions to answer. His stamina is the first concern as he’s far from guaranteed to stay and returning from a 272 day absence will be no easy feat in this field. Market vibes should guide on his fitness but this is a tough ask.
2 BEST SOLUTION – Won the Lingfield Derby Trial in splendid style on his penultimate start and he then ran respectably in the Epsom Derby when last seen. The pace here should be more suitable, although his inconsistent profile makes him risky for backers. If at his best h will be challenging to finish in the frame for Godolphin but he’s more than likely to find at least one too good in this.
3 CALL TO MIND – Twice raced son of Galileo for William Haggas who made good strides on his second start for The Queen, finishing third in a Listed contest last month. The step up to this trip should unlock improvement but he needs to progress fifteen pounds to match the current favourite Crystal Ocean. While he would be a very popular winner, it’s hard to see it happening.
4 CRYSTAL OCEAN – By Sea The Stars, he broke his maiden at the second attempt when storming away with a Nottingham maiden contest back in April. He was far from disgraced when last seen in the Dante Stakes, finishing strongly to take third and he steps up in trip here. He is unexposed at this trips and his progressive profile makes him a likely type for this race with the trainer having a brilliant year so far.
5 FRANKUUS – This son of Frankel isn’t improving for Mark Johnston, with his fourth in the Derby Trial only matching his previous form and doing little to suggest he stays this trip. While his trainer and jockey combination is in red hot form, there are too many doubts today and he’s best watched.
6 GLENCADAM GLORY – Trained by John Gosden, he stormed home in eye catching style to take second in the Lingfield Derby Trial in May but his ninth in the Epsom Derby was only a respectable run. He was only running on past beaten horses having being held up and further progress is required to be taking this, with a stronger pace needed for him to show his best. That isn’t guaranteed in this field and he could to be found lacking when they go for home.
7 INTERN – Ran well in two runs of a light two year old campaign and he made a good seasonal/stable debut at Sandown in April in the Classic Trial, finishing second by a head. He should come on for the run but he will need marked progress to be featuring in a field such as this and should come up short against some classier types.
8 KHALIDI – An easy winner of a Listed race at Goodwood on his penultimate start but he couldn’t back up that effort when disappointing in the Derby when last seen. He could only muster up fourteenth with no real excuses and that gives him something to prove in this equally competitive race.
9 PERMIAN – The winner of the Dante Stakes on his penultimate start with a strong late serge, he was sent off just 8/1 for the Derby but was off the bridle a long way from home and weakened in the final furlong. While he clearly wasn’t at his best that day – and a return to his Dante form would give him each way claims for his in form yard – there’s no guarantee of that having been on a sharp upward progression before and it may be that he is simply not good enough for this company.
10 RAHEEN HOUSE – He ran well on seasonal reappearance to finish second in a conditions race at Newbury in April but he took a big backwards step when only third at Goodwood on his latest start, beaten six lengths and he looks vulnerable in this field. Lacks the class of most of his competitors in this.
11 SALOUEN – After a very tricky run in the Epsom Derby, this son of Canford Cliffs should gain compensation for a troubled passage to gain victory in this Group 2 contest for Sylvester Kirk. Finishing second in the Fielden Stakes on his one preparation run, he was held up in the rear for most of the race before clipping heels and stumbling badly two furlongs from home. He came flying home afterwards but met traffic once again and jockey Fran Berry had to stop riding with his chance of placing over. He has an experience edge on his main rivals and with two places already in Group 1 company he can gain a Group success for the first time in his career.
12 SIR JOHN LAVERY -This well hyped son of Galileo disappointed badly on seasonal reappearance this year, finishing down the field in a Listed contest. Ryan Moore takes the ride again and he can be competitive if building on his penultimate start when winning at Gowran Park, although he hasn’t proven he handles this going and has questions to answer at unattractive odds.
13 WOLF COUNTRY – He has smart form at his best, winning over this distance in a Listed race over in France back in May when eased down for a comfortable success. He wasn’t necessarily disgraced when fifth in the Dante when last seen, but more is needed on the bare form. Charlie Appleby and William Buick are both in flying form and he’s an interesting outsider, but is unlikely to be good enough to win this race.