News and STORIES

The $1.25 Million King George Stakes Offers Spot in Breeders’ Cup Turf

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Wednesday July 24, 2019

On Saturday, 11 horses will compete for the $1.25 Million Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot. The winner of the race will receive an all-expenses-paid spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.


One of the horses looking to win is Enable. The dual G1 Prix I’Arc de Triomphe heroine was the winner of the 12-furlong race back in 2017. It was during a time when the impressive horse won five G1 races in a row before being injured last year and not able to compete.

This year, she competed in the 10-furlong G1 Coral-Eclipse on July 6 at Sandown Park where she was challenged by Magical but managed to hold on to win by three-quarters of a length. She started as the 4/6 favorite and was the third female horse to win that race after Pebbles and Kooyonga. However, she was the first five-year-old mare to take that victory.

If Enable wins on Saturday at the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, she will become the third two-time winner of the race. She will be the first in this century; the last was Dahlia in 1973 and 1974, and Swain in 1997 and 1998.

Champion trainer John Gosden spoke about Enable on the Warren Hill gallops during a press event in Newmarket.

“Enable has been in good form since Sandown. I thought she ran a lovely race there. Frankie (Dettori) had her in the correct position, and she won with a bit in hand.

“She was coming off an eight-month break. She did not go for a racecourse gallop beforehand and did all of her work here in Newmarket. I would say it wasn’t until we got her on a gallop she likes, the round gallop on Limekilns, that she showed her zest and old spark.

“She is comfortable over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. As you saw at Sandown, she has tactical speed, and that tends to help the jockey. When she won the Arc at Chantilly, it was her speed from a very tricky draw that meant she did not get boxed in.”

Rest of the Field

Crystal Ocean will also be running in the race. The horse was the runner-up of last year’s race and competed in last month’s 10-furlong Prince of Wales Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot.

Defoe will also be competing. He is another winner at Royal Ascot after the five-year-old won on Saturday in the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) on June 22. He also won the Coronation Cup at Epson (G1) on May 31.

Hurricane Run, the French-trained horse, won the King George Stakes in 2006. His trainer Andre Fabre has Waldgeist competing in this year’s running. Waldgeist won the Prix Ganay (G1) during his seasonal reappearance.

Anthony Van Dyck, the winner of the Investec Derby, would become the first Derby victor to win the King George Stakes since Galileo in 2001. Anthony Van Dyck’s stable companion Norway will also be running. Norway is a three-year-old who has won the Irish Derby (G1).

Hunting Horn and Magic Wand will be in the field of 11. Magic Wand’s biggest victory was in the 2018 Ribblesdale Stakes (G1) at the Royal Meeting.

Completing the field is the fourth-place finisher at the Hardwicke Stakes, Morando, and winner of the Listed Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes in May, Salouen.

The horses and their odds for the King Geroge Stakes are 4/6 Enable; 5/2 Crystal Ocean; 6/1 Anthony Van Dyck; 12/1 Defoe; 16/1 Waldgeist; 25/1 Cheval Grand; 50/1 Magic Wand, Salouen; 66/1 Morando; 100/1 Norway, Hunting Horn.