Tracking the Horses – King George Weekend

Joe Berra

Welcome back to our weekly horse racing column that tracks the horses from some of the biggest and best horse racing in the UK and Ireland. This week’s feature will preview one of the finest races in Britain as we head closer to the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes during the King George weekend. 

Tracking the Horses – King George Weekend 

Drama continues to surround Irish racing at the moment, but we will first take a look at some of the latest news updates. We also have some fantastic racing coming up over the next couple of weeks in the British flat racing season and so we will preview and give our picks for these. 

Last week, we tipped the winner in the July Cup feature race at Newmarket Racecourse. The Group 1 Pertemps Network July Cup was won by Shaquille, despite having a poor start to the race. Take a look at my article featuring my pick in last week’s edition of Tracking the Horses.

Tipped a winner last week – Shaquille

We finish off this week’s column with a look at the King George weekend, with a focus on the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Hopefully we can pick another winner!

Latest News – More issues in Ireland

It is not the best time to be an Irish racing fan at the moment. With the news of the new Gambling Regulation Bill, as we summarised in last week’s “Tracking the Horses” column, the Irish racing industry could be in serious trouble.

The ban on gambling adverts during the daytime on Irish TV is set to cause huge financial issues. A compromise could still be reached in order to allow racing channels to be exempt from the Bill.

However, more issues have surfaced after the 10-day ban given to jockey Iqbal Khan following his ride on Lucky Queen at Killarney. Khan was penalised for excessive use of the whip. A stewards inquiry highlighted the issues and said that the jockey was in breach of frequency rules. 

Khan was able to finish in second place in the handicap at Killarney. The race drew considerable attention on social media due to Khan’s actions. After striking Lucky Queen a total of 13 times within two furlongs, Khan also stopped pushing the horse forward. It was the jockey’s first professional ride. 

July Cup Recap 

The principal race from the UK last week was in the Group 1 Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. It was Shaquille who got the win and we hit this pick in last week’s column. 

With it looking likely that it would be Shaquille vs Little Big Bear in this, the latter disappointed. The two horses finished in first and second respectively at the Commonwealth Cup at the end of June but Little Big Bear failed to perform at the July Cup. 

King George Weekend at Ascot 

Tracking the Horses this week will preview the King George weekend at Ascot. If you want to find out more about the famous and historic King George weekend, check out the information below! We will bring you up-to-the-minute information on the top horses races from the UK and other racing hotbeds.

Ascot Racecourse - Home of King George Weekend
Ascot Racecourse – Home of King George Weekend

What is the King George Weekend? 

The end of July sees the King George weekend take place at Ascot in Berkshire, England. Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious and most popular weeks of racing on the British horse racing calendar. However, the King George weekend is yet another significant event at Ascot. 

The feature race of the weekend is the Group 1 QIPCO King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and it is one of the highlights of the summer in British horse racing.

Race of the Century

In 1975, the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes held what is considered one of the greatest races of the century. The race saw Grundy go up against Bustino as they battled it out up the straight with just half a mile to go. However, it was Grundy who just about edged past his rival to take the crown. 

What made the race so special was the fact that both horses pushed each other right to the end to deliver one of the finest spectacles in British horse racing history. 

King George Weekend Preview – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Now it’s time to take a look at the prominent race from the King George weekend. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the most reputable flat races in Britain. It is run over 1 mile 3 furlongs and 211 yards at Ascot racecourse and occurs at the end of July each year. 

Pyledriver to retain the King George title? 

2022 winner Pyledriver is set to race again in the King George. The William Muir and Chris Grassick trained horse was an 18-1 winner and won by two and three quarter lengths. 

The horse’s recent win at Newbury and last month’s victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot indicates that he is in with a good chance once again in this year’s King George. 

Pyledriver has won in three out of four starts at Ascot and is in line to defend his crown once more this year. He also has a history of winning at York, Haydock and in Group 1 races at Epsom. He could be a real contender once more. 

Adayar to run after Newmarket disappointment? 

Adayar was set to run in the King George but may struggle to do so after losing against Israr in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket last week. That has made him questionable to feature after the shock upset. 

The Godolphin-owned horse was a 1-3 favorite before the Princess of Wales’s Stakes but failed to deliver. It was a convincing victory for Israr too as he ended up beating Adayar by four and a half lengths. 

Adayar was crowned the winner of the King George as recently as two years ago and also won the 2021 Epsom Derby. Even if he does run in the King George, his recent disappointment should be enough of a reason to stay away. 

Auguste Rodin to triumph? 

The Aidan O’Brien trained Auguste Rodin has been in fantastic form leading up to the King George weekend. The 3-year-old has recently secured victories in the Irish Derby at Curragh and also at Epsom in June. 

O’Brien has trained a total of four winners in the King George and the dual derby winner Auguste Rodin has a great shot at success in the race.

Auguste Rodin is my pick for King George Weekend
Auguste Rodin is my pick for King George Weekend

However, Auguste Rodin will not be the only horse that O’Brien enters into the race. Stablemates such as Luxembourg and Pont Lonsdale are also set to run and the former must also be considered a strong contender.

Nevertheless, at this moment in time, Auguste Rodin’s form cannot be ignored. Stay tuned to “Tracking the Horses” for an update on the King George weekend closer to the race. 

Best Bet: Auguste Rodin

About the Author
Joe Berra
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.