Friday, July 22, 2022

King George - Emily Upjohn tackles the boys

Although there will be some markee absentees, this year's King George reunites a top-class field of proven middle-distance performers. While Westover is the deserved favourite, the form looks very even and it will be no surprise if there is a hotly-disputed finish in the end. Here is my take on the field.

Broome - Surprised me when he landed the Group 2 Hardwick Stakes during Royal Ascot. Clearly, tactics played a big part in that race. He is one of those horses that is good enough to win an average Group 1 but not quite good enough to win a top one, which is the case on Saturday. Discard.

Mishriff - Second to Adayar in this contest last year. On his best day, can mix it up with anyone and he looked unlucky when a neck second in the Coral-Eclipse. Gets a new jockey in James Doyle and it will be interesting to see how the new pair gets along. He should be at the finish.

Pyledriver - Isn't quite up the level of some of the more prominent ones in this race but on his best day can aspire to a Top 3. Quite unlikely though.

Torquator Tasso - Shocking winner of the Arc last year. If he reproduces the form of that race, he should be head and shoulders above the field. But it looks more likely that his best form is on softer underfoot conditions and better suited for October racing. Has to be respected as an Arc winner but this race will go a long way confirming whether he was a fluke in the Arc or an actual force.

Westover - dominant winner of the Irish Derby and unlucky third in the Epsom Derby. He would not have won at Epsom but would have gone closer to the winner without the traffic problems. Clearly he is a colt on the upside and will benefit from the 3-year old allowance against the elders. The opposition is a far cry from what he encountered at the Curragh and he will have to show he can duke it out when challenged. 

Emily Upjohn - Unlucky to have lost her unbeaten tag in the Oaks. She is without much doubt the best middle-distance filly of the Classic division. She might become ever better with time and it will be interesting to see if she is ready to duke it out with the males at this stage. The weight allowance might give her the decisive advantage from the rest.

I will pick Mishriff, Westover and Emily Upjohn as a trifecta from this bunch. It should be a hotly contested affair between the three and I give a small preference to Westover over the other two.

Win: Westover
Trifecta: Westover/Mishriff/Emily Upjohn