King George VI Weekend Tips Free Bets, Preview and Predictions

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HIGHLAND REEL TO FACE STIFF KING GEORGE V1 STAKES OPPOSITION

Saturday’s King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes has attracted a possible field of sixteen at Monday’s five-day declaration stage including the Aidan O’Brien-trained Highland Reel who will attempt to become only the third horse to win Ascot’s midsummer showpiece following Dahlia in 1973/74 and Swain in 1997/98.

The battle-hardened son of Galileo had been clear ante-post favourite for the mile and a half Group 1 contest since his victory at the royal meeting in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes but that position is now under threat with connections of the dual Oaks winner Enable appearing to have a change of heart after initially pinpointing the Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire as the next target for the John Gosden-trained filly.

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The daughter of Nathanial ( King George winner in 2011 ) and likely mount of Frankie Dettori is a top price 2-1 with William Hill who make last year’s winner their 7-4 market leader although that horse can be backed at 5-2 with several bookmakers including Coral and Paddy Power. Gosden and O’Brien appear to have a stranglehold on this weekend’s  £1,150,000 highlight being responsible for 6-1 joint third favourites Jack Hobbs and Idaho respectively.

Available as big as 6-1 just a few days ago Enable will receive the three-year-old weight for age allowance of a stone from her chief rival should she be given the go-ahead, of which Gosden said: “ A decision will be taken on Wednesday about her participation at Ascot. She cantered this morning ( Monday ) and seems fine in herself and, as she flew to Ireland and back, she didn’t take that much out of herself. As the Yorkshire Oaks is that much later this year it makes sense to have a look at Ascot while she’s in such good form.”

With the ground currently soft at the Berkshire venue and more rain forecast the participation of Gosden’s ‘ second-string ‘ Jack Hobbs looks more than likely after the Godolphin-owned five-year-old found conditions too fast at Royal Ascot when finishing last behind Highland Reel. The ‘ Boys In Blue ‘ have other possibilities in the shape of Frontiersman, Hawkbill, Maverick Wave and the three-year-old Benbati. The third potential contender from the Classic generation is the Mark Johnston inmate Permian who was just touched off in France’s Grand Prix de Paris on his most recent start and a 20-1 chance with most firms for Saturday’s intriguing contest.

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