The UK’s biggest and best Group 1 race will take place at Royal Ascot next weekend, with the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes being used as a preview for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for many of Europe’s top gallopers. The race is run over a distance of 1 ½ miles, with a total prize pool of around £1,150,000 up for grabs for the three-year-olds taking part.
The likes of Dahlia, Shergar, Galileo and Highland Reel have all won over the 65-year history of the race, with many big names looking to write their name into the record books come July 29th. As usual, the race is set to attract betting customers in vast numbers, with the bookmakers having already received substantial bets on the outcome. Let’s take a look at some of the main contenders for the race, as well as our top betting tip.
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Contenders
With some of the best three-year-olds in the business set to make the trip to Ascot, this year’s field could well be one of the most wide-open races in recent history. Unsurprisingly, it is reigning champion Highland Reel that is dominating the headlines in the build-up, with the Aiden O’Brien trained horse coming off back-to-back successes in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Prince of Wale’s Stakes at Ascot.
Elsewhere, Hawkbill is another horse being heavily backed, with the Coral Eclipse winner also coming into the race in good form, having finished third in the Coronation Stakes. Trainer Charlie Appleby will be quietly confident of his prized asset going close once more. Meanwhile, Wings of Eagles is another option for O’Brien, having won the Epsom Derby over the same distance already in 2017. However, with the likes of Ulysses, Enable and Idaho having all been offered short odds among the major bookmakers, there really is little to separate the frontrunners. Last year’s runner-up, Wings of Desire, could also be in with a shout, however his form throughout 2017 has been nothing to write home about.
Top Betting Tip
Having won the same race just twelve months ago, it is difficult to look beyond Highland Reel again, with bookmakers PaddyPower offering best odds on a repeat victory of 11/8. The Irish thoroughbred has won the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Coronation Cup and Prince of Wale’s Stakes since his fine victory at Ascot in 2016, demonstrating his enormous potential in the process. The distance will certainly not be a problem for the three-year-old, with his strong finishing meaning that those around him will have to build a healthy lead to be in with a chance.