Tracking the Horses – King George Update & Qatar Sussex Stakes Preview

We are back this week to track the horses again! Tracking the Horses is a weekly column with the latest updates surrounding some of the best horse racing from the UK and Ireland. That includes the latest news, race reviews, big race previews, and picks. 

The King George weekend is here, and we are giving you an update ahead of the feature race on Saturday. We are also previewing the Qatar Sussex Stakes ahead of next week as we prepare for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Look out for our picks!

Last week we recapped the July Cup as our pick. Shaquille was victorious in the Group 1 Pertemps Network July Cup at Newmarket Racecourse. However, the prominent focus was on the King George weekend that is now upon us! Check out last week’s edition of Tracking the Horses to find out more information about the King George weekend at Ascot. We will also preview the highly-anticipated Qatar Sussex Stakes. 

Latest News

American horse trainer Jason Servis has been given a maximum sentence of four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to doping horses in his care. Fellow trainer Jorge Navarro was sentenced to five years last year due to horse doping. 

Servis is the most high-profile name to have been sentenced this time, although more than two dozen people have been charged.

King George Update

Last week we previewed the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as we begin the King George weekend. We have already had some great action on the show this Friday, and the big feature race will take place on Saturday. Below, we give you an up-to-date look at the feature race before we preview next week’s Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. 

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes will take place at Ascot on Saturday (15:40 UK time) and the Group 1 race is one of the main races of British flat racing over the summer. Check out last week’s edition of Tracking the Horses for information surrounding the King George weekend at Ascot!

Saturday’s Races

Saturday of the King George weekend at Ascot has a total of eight races on show. The highlight is the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Here is a full list of all the races for Saturday:

  • 13:15 – Greatwood Charity 25th Anniversary British EBF Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes
  • 13:50 – Bateaux London Princess Margaret Stakes (Group 3)
  • 14:25 – Longines Valiant Stakes (Group 3)
  • 15:00 – Moet & Chandon International Stakes
  • 15:40 – King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1)
  • 16:15 – Flexjet Pat Eddery Stakes
  • 16:50 – Betfred Handicap
  • 17:25 – Whispering Angel Handicap

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Update

Emily UpJohn was a talking point in our first edition of Tracking the Horses. She lost out to Paddington in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park but raced well. Could the John and Thady Gosen-trained horse triumph in King George this time? 

She was able to win at Epsom at the beginning of June in the Coronation Cup, finishing ahead of Westover by one and three quarter lengths, who is also running in this race. 

As we suspected last week, Adayar has been removed from the Group 1 race on Saturday and has been retired. It comes as very little surprise after his poor showing at Newmarket in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes. However, he will always be remembered as a winner in both the Derby and King George. 

Adayar became the first three-year-old to win the race since 2011, when he did so two years ago. That could give the nod to Auguste Rodin, who we tipped last week. 

Four out of the last five winners of this race have been aged five or older. That could favor Pyledriver, who we also liked in last week’s preview. He is searching for back-to-back triumphs in the King George. 

Nevertheless, from 2000 to 2017, all winners were aged either three or four years old. 

King of Steel is another widely backed horse heading into the race. The Roger Varian-trained three-year-old was beaten at Epsom in June by Auguste Rodin by just half a length. 

However, King of Steel was able to bounce back and prosper at Royal Ascot towards the tail end of last month to comfortably beat Continuous by three and a half lengths in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes. We could be set for yet another fascinating battle between the pair this time. 

Best Bet: Auguste Rodin 11-4 (We’re sticking with him!)

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Festival

Next week is the start of the Qatar Goodwood Festival which is yet another one of the key meetings during the British Flat racing season. Below we preview the Qatar Sussex Stakes as plenty of wonderful horses battle it out to become Goodwood’s champion.

What is the Qatar Goodwood Festival?

Being one of the most prestigious festivals on the British Flat racing calendar, Goodwood Festival provides racing fans with top-quality racing that showcases some of the best horses from around the world. 

It is a five-day festival with a host of elite racing on show, filled with glamour, glory, and hospitality. It’s called ‘Glorious Goodwood’ for a reason! 

The festival is held at Goodwood Racecourse, near Chichester, West Sussex, in England. It is home to three of the UK’s annual Group 1 flat races, including the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

What is the Qatar Sussex Stakes?

The Qatar Sussex Stakes is one of the top races run during the British Flat racing season. The Group 1 race at Goodwood is run over 1 mile and is worth £1,000,000. Being considered the most distinguished race at the Goodwood Festival, it is the focus over the five days. It is set to take place on Day Two. That’s exactly why we’re previewing it!

Qatar Sussex Stakes Preview

So, now it’s time to take a look at the big race occurring in Britain next week. The Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood! Currently, there are ten runners in the Group 1 race, as horses aged three years or older are set to take part.

Paddington to build on Sandown Park Triumph?

In our first edition of Tracking the Horses, we saw Paddington triumph in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown Park. That meant that the three-year-old was able to secure a third straight Group 1 triumph. He was able to beat Emily UpJohn by half a length, who is racing in the King George. 

Paddington is the current odds-on favorite to win the race, and for a good reason. His form cannot be ignored. Having already reigned victorious in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, and Coral-Eclipse Stakes, he is looking good for yet another triumph here. 

The Aidan O’Brien-trained horse has impressed the trainer himself due to his continued development. That would indicate that Paddington is not done yet and is hungry for more success. He looks good to make it a fourth win in a row here in the Qatar Sussex Stakes. 

Could Nostrum challenge?

Three-year-old Nostrum offers another good selection in the Qatar Sussex Stakes. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained horse won at Newmarket in the Class 1 Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes earlier this month. He was able to beat Embesto by three lengths. 

Jockey Ryan Moore rode Nostrum to success at Newmarket. However, he will be on Paddington for this one, so they will need to find a new rider. The win over Embesto has led to the odds on Nostrum here being cut by some margin. 

The colt could be set to take on Paddington in the Qatar Sussex Stakes and looked in good shape at Newmarket last month in the Listed race. That was his fourth ever start of his career, but he has three victories to his name.

Modern Games to seek revenge

Having raced courageously in last year’s Qatar Sussex Stakes, finishing in second behind Baaeed, Modern Games is seeking revenge this year. The Godolphin-owned four-year-old was beaten by one and three quarter lengths last year.

The colt finished in fourth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot last month, being beaten by fellow runner in this year’s Qatar Sussex Stakes Inspiral, who finished in second. However, Modern Games could still keep in touch with the leaders and finished just three and a half lengths behind winner Triple Time.

Who will win the Qatar Sussex Stakes?

It is set to be a fantastic race next week and one that is filled with a plethora of fantastic horses. Nostrum looks in good shape after his win at Newmarket, and trainer Charlie Appleby for Modern Games will be desperate to get the win to make up for last year’s heartbreaking loss in the Qatar Sussex Stakes. However, we will have to stick with the favorite Paddington, who has been phenomenal this season. 

Best Bet: Paddington 4-7

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Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.