Preview – King George VI

Ascot Grand Stand, by Florian Christoph

Will Golden Horn run? We don’t know yet. The ground is soft, and despite the fact that the sun is out, it won’t help to dry quickly enough. I suspect that the hot favourite won’t take up his chance here. But regardless of whether he is in or not, it should be an intriguing affair as not too many are suited by the conditions.

Well, Clever Cookie surely is. He’ll love every drop of rain in the ground. He is in top form, won two on the bounce and should have things the way he likes it. I think he is potentially overpriced, but also feel he may be tactically disadvantaged with his usual running style – he simply might get going too late. It could be difficult to peg back some others who are attempting more aggressive tactics.

I believe Snow Sky is a major runner here today, with or without Golden Horn. He stays further than 12 furlongs and might be actually better over two additional furlongs, but he proved his class in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot over this trip when he was very impressive to land it from the front.

He may not get the lead this time, but will surely be prominent nonetheless. That will enable him to kick on 3f out, turning for home. He has a bit of a change of gear, so may be able to put some lengths into the rest of the field at this stage. And one thing is assured – he’ll stay.

This Nayef son is a typical Sir Michael improver, he’s blooming this year. The ground of course is a question mark. His best performances came on a quick surface. However he used to win his maiden on bottomless ground with ease, so he is probably fine.

There aren’t too many others who appeal to me. Flintshire is a quality runner, but he’ll hate the ground. Eagle Top isn’t sure to enjoy it either. While Postponed remains one with potential but has never encountered these conditions before. Romsdal has yet to win on turf, though the filly Madame Chiang has course and distance form on soft ground as she was victorious at British Champions Day last year.

She is an intriguing contender. Track, trip and ground will suit. Her seasonal comeback run over shorter 10f in the Middleton Stakes wasn’t all that bad, however she hasn’t been seen since, which is a concern.

And what about Golden Horn – if he runs? Of course he’s the one to beat. His record speaks for itself and he has the vital weight for age allowance on his side. But the ground is a major worry. Yes, he won his maiden on good to soft, but he looked so exceptional on a fast surface – I’m worried.

Verdict: I’m prepared to take on Golden Horn in these conditions ans believe Snow Sky has a major chance. He shouldn’t mind the ground and tactically the race could pan out to perfection for him. He’s a big price.

Snow Sky @ 15/2 Betfred – 5pts Win

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