King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Qipco) (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Class 1) (3YO plus)
Advice: 1 pt win Magician (5/1 Ladbrokes, Betfred, Boylesports)
Already Advised: 2 pts each/way Eagle Top, King George, Monday (8/1 general)
Letir Mor: Here to make a preferable pace for Trading Leather.
Magician: Remarkable 3yo campaign ended with nail-biting Breeders Cup Turf when delivered with perfect timing to snatch glory from the Fugue, having previously won Irish Guineas in fine style; Taken his time to come to boil as older horse this year, but second in Prince of Wales’s Stakes (ahead of Mukhadram) a fine effort and maybe the leading form case in this field; No reason why he can’t go close.
Mukhadram: Gained a well deserved first Group 1 in Eclipse Stakes when getting fine ride from Paul Hanagan (now on Taghrooda) and bare form of that would give him excellent chance but got a lot of easy rope from rest of the field that day when race suited and this will be very different at new trip; Respected but maybe exposed here unless getting his preferred lead and that seems unlikely.
Telescope: Had big reputation from day one even though he’s not always managed to show his best, but different story granted his preferred conditions of this trip on fast ground, and he took apart Hardwicke field at Royal Meeting in style of Group 1 winner in waiting (see Harbinger in 2010); Should go well.
Trading Leather: Disappointment when far too keen on return but had previously shown high class form, including second in this last year to Novelist (won Irish Derby the time before); Back to that in Eclipse when prominently placed but unable to land a blow on Mukhadram; This is his trip (all best form at 1m4f); Can go well again but this harder.
Eagle Top: Won comfortably like a good horse on debut and backed as if defeat out of the question at Leicester next time but ended up wrong when well beaten; Connections faith in him rewarded when they pitched him in King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot when he flew home to win in fine style; This a completely different task but won like a horse with any amount in hand and form in a line through runner up stacks up well; One of three for Gosden but respected.
Romsdal: Duly built on the promise shown on Doncaster debut when a clear cut winner at Kempton next time out and then looked progressive when a fast closer at Chepstow; Then ran massive race in Derby, coming a clear third behind Kingston Hill (Eclipse fourth) and Australia; The outsider of Gosden 3yos here but debatable as to whether he should be so big and interesting value contender.
Taghrooda: Shaped with great promise on Newmarket debut a different horse stepped up in trip when trashing Pretty Polly rivals and then did the same to far tougher field in Oaks, taking the race by the scruff of the neck and routing them at Epsom; That performance and decision to send her here entitles her to huge respect (as well as boosting the race) and must be respected.
VERDICT: Some renewals have struggled for lustre compared to the great matched of the previous decade but the presence of John Gosden’s 3 year old’s will provide us with a great deal of context. Followers will already have twice the price about King Edward winner Eagle Top, who looked well worth stepping up to this class when so impressive at Royal Ascot, although he looks to be too short in a wide-open renewal. Even with deeply impressive Oaks winner Taghrooda present it’s a surprise to see Derby third Romsdal at such a big price. Hardwicke winner Telescope has to be given respect, having shown what he was capable of at the Royal Meeting last time, but it may be MAGICIAN, who proves best. The super versatile Breeders’ Cup turf winner returned to his best form when second in the Prince of Wales’s last time and if repeating that performance will take the beating. Trading Leather could enjoy this trip more than Mukhadram but things may not play out so well for him as at Sandown.