Sea Moon the pick of a competitive field in King George VI Stakes
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is usually a favourites race – with six market leaders vindicating their position in the last eight years – but what happens when there are three frontrunners?
That is the virtually unprecedented situation marking the latest instalment 16.35 at Ascot this Saturday, with 2011 winner Nathaniel inseparable from St Nicholas Abbey and Sea Moon at 11/4.
Nathaniel narrowly beat favourite Workforce last year to become the first three-year-old victor since 2003 and this time chases an even bolder feat: emerging as just the third repeat winner in the Group 1 race’s 62-year existence.
The chance to achieve history is also a theme surrounding Sea Moon’s involvement as Sir Michael Stoute looks to push past Dick Hern and Saeed bin Suroor as the first trainer to triumph six times in the race, each time with a different horse too.
His record in this in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is so formidable that even on the last three occasions that he hasn’t provided the winner, he has had an entrant in the places, securing second in both 2010 and 2011.
Sea Moon is the only horse from the field of ten to have won on its last two outings – both of those successes coming this season too – and will be mounted by the most experienced jockey of the three frontrunners, Ryan Moore.
St Nicholas Abbey is likely to face the toughest task justifying odds of 11/4. He finished third in this race last year, has been made to settle for second twice already in 2012 and is a five-year-old. No horse that old has won it this century.
In terms of each-way betting, Brown Panther intrigues at 20/1. He prevailed at this course and distance in last June’s King George V Stakes, came first on his last outing and has placed in six of his eight starts on flat turf.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.