This mile-and-a-half, three-year-olds only race is a real baffler this year! The vast majority of the 19 runners have a genuine chance, there’s no doubting that. Various form lines are represented and so many look strong on paper.
Aidan O’Brien runs a couple and that affects prices, but on paper neither looks particularly well handicapped although his horses often improve in lumps for the benefit of racing.
Traditionally in this race, those drawn middle to outer don’t struggle as you’d expect them to so that’s another angle we can’t take, but based on the likely conditions, the handicap and rates of improvement these are the six we like best for the King George V:
It’s felt that this horse, representing Mark Johnston who has such a good record in races of this nature, would be on a four-timer now had his last race been over this distance instead of two furlongs further.
He’s talented, is improving, and is likely to prove versatile as far as ground and running style goes. Interesting.
John & Thady Gosden’s runner for Godolphin comes into this contest with a single win from only three career starts, but he has the profile of a thoroughly decent future middle-distance horse.
Third to team mate Polling Day on debut, on whom we can draw close comparisons to the Queen’s Vase form via Stowell, he won his second start in pretty impressive style.
He was beaten last time out, however the race in which he was runner-up to Mandoob really needs to be upgraded in terms of handicapping if you’re looking at that form line in future. Mandoob was very impressive next time and is likely closer to 100 than the 92 mark he’s been given.
Marshall Plan gave him 7lbs that day, is probably of a very similar standard overall (if not better), and gets in here off a mark of just 90.
Roger Varian’s gelding is a true improver and this is definitely his trip. Third on debut to Peter The Great in the Wood Ditton, he won next time out before turning the tables on his old foe at Newcastle over the mile and a quarter.
Another step forward is expected, but his handicap mark isn’t overly generous so it’ll need to be a big one.
This horse doesn’t carry the first choice Godolphin colours, but that’s nothing to worry about and he has the assistance of Charlie Appleby’s first rider William Buick who is up another level in terms of his ability this year.
After a reasonable debut, Siskany has won three on the bounce now and is climbing the ladder like Spiderman up a building.
More to the point, his latest comfortable win was achieved in a small field and on slow ground and in the conditions of this race he’s bound to pull out a good deal more.
Through the likes of Surefire and Greatgadian his form has a strong look, he’s been easily better than those horses so far and this step up from a mile-and-a-quarter looks ideal for him as he winds his runs up rather than produces bursts of speed.
Surefire has some good form and really franked that of Siskany having finished runner-up to the Godolphin horse before going on to win by 3¼ lengths at Leicester.
There is a niggling doubt that on breeding Ralph Beckett’s runner may prove to be a ten furlong horse so this may just stretch the stamina a little.
Won easily last time for Hughie Morrison, stayed 1m3f and is by Golden Horn out of a Dalakhani mare. Stamina won’t be the issue, but his big rise in the handicap for a wide margin win probably hasn’t done him any favours in a race this competitive.
There are so many in with chances here, at least on paper. Kondo Isami is interesting coming back to a mile-and-a-half for a trainer who knows how to win these big handicaps at this trip, while Surrey Gold remains of strong interest too.
Siskany could be the one and it would be no surprise to see him win, but we love the form of Mandoob which is underrated and brings in the perhaps even better MARSHALL PLAN.
The speed figures told us that the form of not only the race when the pair met, but also when Mandoob won impressively last time, needs to be upgraded and so now in handicap conditions this horse can prove best handicapped of the bunch.