King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes Betting Tips – Japan value over Enable in Ascot showpiece

Ascot Betting Tips · Saturday, 25th Jul 2020 - 15:35

O’Brien colt fancied to reverse Eclipse form

A disappointing field of just four run in the feature race at Ascot on Saturday, the 1m 4f King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (15:35).

At the odds on offer, Japan looks value to get the better of red-hot favourite Enable in the prestigious Group 1 contest.

This four-year-old, who is one of three runners in the line-up for all-conquering Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, progressed throughout last season when winning three of his six starts.

After finishing an excellent half-length third to stable companion Anthony Van Dyck in the Epsom Derby, Japan was ultra-impressive over course and distance at the Royal meeting here when scooting clear and easily beating Bangkok by 4 1/2 lengths in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes.

Japan then took the step back up into Group 1 company in his stride when readily landing the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp by half-a-length from Slalom.

The son of Galileo then went in again in Group 1 company when landing the Juddmonte International over 1m 2f at York, where he got up close home to gamely beat Crystal Ocean by a head in a real thriller.

Japan then rounded off the campaign with a solid fourth of 12 to Waldgeist in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe back at Longchamp where, after being given plenty to do, he kept on to be beaten four lengths.

Step back up in trip a plus

He finished just two lengths behind the runner-up Enable, who had a far better passage and raced up with the pace, so it was a terrific run in defeat.

Japan comes into this on the back of just two outings this season. He shaped as if badly needing the run when fourth to Lord North in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, before finishing a solid third to Ghaiyyath in the Eclipse also over 1m 2f at Sandown.

After tracking the winner travelling strongly, Japan only weakened late on and lost second place close home after holding every chance at the two marker.

He finished just a head behind runner-up Enable who did her best work at the finish, so there is little to choose between the pair.

Japan also raced far more sweetly than that rival and appears to be building up to a big performance, The step back up to 1m 4f will also play to his strengths.

So, with regular big pilot Ryan Moore once again in the saddle, and underfoot conditions ideal, Japan looks worth siding with at the 3/1 on offer with Betway to reverse the form and scalp Enable for the first time.

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Enable odds-on for record breaking third success

Enable is long odds-on to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes for a record third time after successes in 2017 and 2019.

If doing so, her jockey Frankie Dettori will equal Lester Piggott’s record of seven wins in the contest.

Trained by John Gosden, this super six-year-old mare has won 13 of her 16 starts and landed her tenth Group/Grade 1 success when easily beating Magical in last year’s Yorkshire Oaks.

Prior to that, the daughter of Nathaniel had stayed on gamely to beat her old rival in the Eclipse before going on to follow-up in this when gamely getting the better of Crystal Ocean by a neck.

Enable went on to end the season with a cracking 1 3/4 lengths second to Waldgeist when attempting to win the Arc for a third time.

Those efforts have earned her a rating of 128, the highest in the line-up. It puts her 5lb clear of main market rival Japan, so she is clearly the one to beat.

However, Enable didn’t race with her usual enthusiasm when runner-up in this year’s renewal of the Eclipse. She was entitled to need the run after 273 days on the sidelines, though.

Enable was scrubbed along on several occasions by Dettori before staying on late and it was a slightly underwhelming comeback.

Gosden has reported her to have come on a bundle since, but best odds of 4/7 with Betfred look plenty short enough in what is going to be a tactical affair where all three of her rivals hails from the yard of O’Brien.

For that reason alone, Enable looks opposable on this occasion.

Derby duo complete King George line-up

The field is completed by last year’s English and Irish Derby winners winners Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign.

The former looks the pick of the older O’Brien pair, but comes into the race with lots to prove after an underwhelming effort last time out.

That came in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting here where the four-year-old son of Galileo was sent off 9/4 favourite, but looked one-paced in finishing a five length fifth of nine to Fanny Logan.

Prior to that, he had run an eye-catching race on seasonal reappearance when staying on to finish a 2 1/2 lengths runner-up to Ghaiyyath in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Newmarket.

Judged on that Anthony Van Dyck would have a shout, but he bombed out in the King George 12 months ago when 10th to Enable and has not tasted success since landing the Epsom Derby by half-a-length from Madhmoon.

He has clearly not gone on as expected and, although given a poor tactical ride when a six-length runner-up to Sovereign in the Irish Derby, Anthony Van Dyck has failed to live up to expectations on more than one occasion.

Odds of 10/1 with 888sport, therefore, look a true reflection of his chances and it will be a major surprise if he turns over the big two in the betting.

The aforementioned Sovereign, the rank outsider at 12/1 with Paddy Power, could finish only third on return to action in a Group 3 at The Curragh.

He is surely in the King George just to make the pace for his more classy stable companions, so can be readily passed over.

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