It is not every day of the week we see just two trainers, albeit two phenomenal trainers, albeit two of the best trainers in the game, albeit two of the best trainers of all time have all the entries in a Group 1 race at Ascot Racecourse. Barring additional entries, that is what we will see in the Group 1 King George VI on Saturday. All the horses entered or being pointed for the race are trained by either Aidan O’ Brien or John Gosden. Gosden has Enable pointing towards an unprecedented third Arc and is looking to get back to winning ways after getting beat in her season debut by Ghaiyyath who was able to go Gate to Wire at Sandown. Although Enable finished second, she came from well off the pace, and finished very good. With the Arc de Triomphe as the major goal, she was probably 75-80%. She’ll be tighter on Saturday.
Although O’Brien has Gosden outnumbered the edge still goes to Gosden. After all he has Enable, one of the best racehorses we have seen in a while, and one who belongs in the discussion of the all time greats. O’Brien has six under consideration to the two from Gosden. I would not be surprised one bit if Enable goes it alone for Team Gosden.
Here in the states it can be very frustrating when Chad Brown has multiple entries in turf stakes, and it happens with some frequency. For gamblers it adds another intangible. Who is the horse for today, who is pointing towards another goal and not “all in” for the race at hand? With minor stakes that reality is more common than it would or at least should be than in a race like the King George, but when you back the wrong horse from the same trainer it leaves a bitter taste and at least with me causes me to miss the old days of entries. We likely won’t see those days again but from a gambling standpoint this game is tough enough without adding “intent” of barns into the mix. Intent is always there to some degree but when you have multiple horses from a single barn, it amplifies it.
But for a huge run and possibly a pretty wet course Enable might already have her third Arc. Waldgeist was able to run her down late last year when she was five. The Sport of Kings is fortunate Juddmonte Farm brought her back for a six year old campaign, and we can always hope if she gets that tgird Arc we see her in the Breeders’ Cup again. It is a big wish, but hey 2020 has been tough enough. We deserve a break.
With Aidan O’ Brien sending as many as six, one need not ask him if he thinks this may be the time to beat the great mare. With the one start he probably feels he might be able to get her at Ascot as opposed to later this year.
Below are the runners pointing to the King George:
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Class 1)(Group 1) (British Champions Series) 1m 3f 211y
Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) 4 Aidan O’Brien Ireland Mrs John Magnier,Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith
Enable 6 John Gosden Mr K. Abdullah Frankie Dettori
Fanny Logan (IRE) 4 John Gosden HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing
Japan 4 Aidan O’Brien Ireland D Smith/Mrs Magnier/M Tabor/M Matsushima
Magical (IRE) 5 Aidan O’Brien Ireland Mr D. Smith, Mrs J. Magnier, Mr M. Tabor
Magic Wand (IRE) 5 Aidan O’Brien Ireland Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier
Sir Dragonet (IRE) 4 Aidan O’Brien Ireland Mrs John Magnier, Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith
Sovereign (IRE) 4 Aidan O’Brien Ireland Mrs John Magnier, Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith