The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes was first run in 1951, and it is now thought of as one of the most prestigious middle-distance contests in the flat racing calendar.
This year’s renewal sees the mighty Enable bid to maintain her winning run – and in the process – gain her ninth win at the highest level. She looks sure to go off a short-priced favourite, and this article will look at previous renewals to assess whether her price is a negative or positive for her chances.
At her current price, Enable is likely to go off the shortest-priced King George favourite since Aidan O’Brien’s Duke Of Marmalade, who landed the race in 2008 at odds of 4/6.
In the last thirty renewals of the King George, there have been eight odds-on favourites, with seven of those going on to win – the sole loss coming in the shape of Workforce, who was sent off the 8/11 favourite in 2010 but could only finish fifth behind stablemate Harbinger.
To a £1 stake, backing the odds-on favourites in the last thirty years has produced a profit of £3.02. And in the same time period, fourteen outright favourites have obliged, resulting in a small loss of -£0.39 using the same £1 stakes.
Having previously landed the race in 2017, Enable will be attempting to become just the third horse to win the King George more than once – following in the footsteps of Dahlia (1973 & 1974) and Swain (1997 & 1998).
As mentioned above, Workforce’s 8/11 loss in 2010 makes him the shortest-priced loser in the race’s recent history.
On the other end of that scale though, it is perhaps surprising to see that there have been just two double-figure-priced winners in the last thirty years, with those victories coming from King’s Theatre at odds of 12/1 in 1994 and Swain at 16/1 in 1997.
With twenty-eight of the last thirty renewals going to a horse sent off at odds of 9/1 or shorter, that suggests Enable, Crystal Ocean and Anthony Van Dyck are the three to focus on here.
Odds-on favourites had a fine recent record prior to Workforce’s 2010 defeat, but John Gosden’s three winners were all three-year-olds, and with that in mind, Crystal Ocean is backed to go one place better than last year.
Sir Michael Stoute’s charge looked better than ever when landing the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes here last month, and with the step back up to this trip looking sure to suit him – he can stop Enable’s winning sequence.