The opening day of the QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend is an extended nine-race card headlined by Ascot’s midsummer showpiece, the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes.
The all-age mile-and-a-half race has a rich history and a roll of honour littered with racing superstars. That list includes Ribot and Aureole in the early years through to Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard and Dahlia in the 1970s up to Shergar and Dancing Brave in the 1980s before Swain, Galileo and Hurricane Run in the modern era.
The latest chapter has all been about one horse though, Enable, who returns in 2020 looking for an unprecedented third victory in the race. Kept in training as a six-year-old, she returned to the track this season with a pleasing second in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown which has reportedly put John Gosden’s stable star spot on for this weekend.
Enable Seeks Return to Breeders’ Cup
Enable, winner of the 2018 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), will face three rivals Saturday when she bids to make history and become the first three-time winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1). The winner will earn an automatic berth into the US$6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
Nothing but love and admiration for their Queen. ? pic.twitter.com/L2MNqaRPKg
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) July 24, 2020
The race might be short on numbers but it certainly does not fall down on quality. All four runners are Group 1 winners, with 14 victories at the highest level between them. Enable is responsible for 10 of those but Japan won the Grand Prix de Paris and Juddmonte International last summer as well as the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot while Anthony Van Dyck won the 2019 Derby at Epsom and Sovereign the Irish Derby.
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It will be the joint smallest field in the history of the race, matching the four runners in 1961 and 1964. That renewal in 1964 saw the 2/13 favourite and Derby winner Santa Claus turned over by Nasram in one of the biggest upsets ever in British racing. Enable’s legions of supporters will be hoping the darling of British racing doesn’t suffer the same fate under Frankie Dettori.
Pat Edderly Stakes Features Juveniles
Elsewhere on the card is the BetfredTV Pat Eddery Stakes, a Listed race over seven furlongs for two-year-olds. Saeiqa brings the strongest form to the race having been third in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and is likely to be a warm order for the Gosden and Dettori team. Others to consider are Twaasol who is two from two including the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom while Chindit was a smooth winner on debut at Doncaster.
The big betting race of the day is the Moet & Chandon International Stakes where the full field of 20 will take some unpicking. Several bring form from the Royal Meeting including Mutamaasik who ran well in the Buckingham Palace Stakes before disappointing at Newmarket and Chiefofchiefs, winner of the Silver Wokingham Stakes.
Course and distance winner Cliffs Of Capri has been in consistent form this season and remains on a workable mark but with the assistance of Ryan Moore, the Roger Charlton trained Blue Mist could be the one to beat.