King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Saturday 29th July, 15:35
1. DESERT ENCOUNTER (David Simcock/Sean Leavy)
Took form up another notch with a C&D listed win in May and improved again in defeat since, finishing three and a half lengths third to Ulysses in the Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago. Bit more needed again here.
2. HIGHLAND REEL (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
High-class performer who made all to win this last year, and this most tough and genuine sort has added three more Group 1 wins since, including Prince of Wales's Stakes here last month. Tends to sweat beforehand, but is very game and genuine, and is bidding to become only the third dual winner of this race.
3. IDAHO (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)
Full-brother to Highland Reel who built on a solid return in the Coronation Cup when landing the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes over C&D five weeks ago, wisely ridden close to the pace, but winning fair and square. This tougher, but it wouldn't be a surprise if this relatively lightly-raced four-year-old had even more to offer.
4. JACK HOBBS (John Gosden/William Buick)
Lightly raced since his 2015 Irish Derby win, but he showed he's as good as ever when landing the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March. Ground possibly a bit quick for him when behind a couple of these in Prince of Wales's Stakes last time, so not totally discounted.
5. MAVERICK WAVE (John Gosden/Graham Lee)
Smart on his day but seemingly running here as a pacemaker for Jack Hobbs.
6. MY DREAM BOAT (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby)
Game winner of Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on soft ground last year. Best effort this term when fourth in Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in first-time cheekpieces four weeks ago, but will likely find a few too strong again here.
7. ULYSSES (Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley)
Good third to Highland Reel in Prince of Wales's Stakes here before taking another step forward to edge out Barney Roy in the Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago, proving himself a top-flight performer. He has a high cruising speed, but he has won over this trip before, and folly to ignore his claims.
8. SIXTIES SONG (Alfredo F. Gaitan Dassie/Gerald Mosse)
Smart performer in South America, winning Grade 1 Gran Premio Latinoamericano at Valparaiso in March. However, would be a bit of a surprise if he was up to troubling some of these rivals.
9. BENBATL (Saeed bin Suroor/Osin Murphy)
Has rapidly developed into a smart performer this season, deservedly gaining first pattern success in the 1¼m Hampton Court at Royal Ascot last month. Likely to run his race once more, but will probably find a few too strong.
10. ENABLE (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Has looked a filly out of the very top drawer this season, easily winning the Epsom and Irish Oaks on her last two starts. Likely she has even more to offer and, getting both an age and sex allowance, she is taken to prove too strong for her older rivals.
Timeform King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes 1-2-3
2. Highland Reel
Timeform Analyst's Timeform King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes Verdict:
ENABLE looks every bit as good as the same yard's Taghrooda, who got 3-y-o fillies back on the scoreboard in this race in 2014, and can make the most of the 14 lb she receives from her main rivals and notch a third Group 1 success of the summer. Last year's winner Highland Reel is as tough as they come and won't give up his crown without a fight, while Eclipse hero Ulysses is also much respected.