NathanielThis Saturday’s big horse race is the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. Last year’s winner Nathaniel (pictured) will line up again in 2012 and is bidding to become the first horse to win the race back to back since Swain in 1997 & 1998. But will he be capable of such a feat, or perhaps there’s a dark horse amongst the field…?

Key Trends

As always, we’ll cast an eye over the key trends that emerge from studying past winners of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in an attempt to build up the profile of a potential King George winner.

Age

  • All of the last 10 winners of the King George were aged 3 or 4

8 of the last 10 winners were aged 4 and the others were aged 3, but there have been four times as many 4 year olds run in the race as 3 year olds, so I wouldn’t discount the younger horses. Horses aged 5 or older have made up 40% of the runners in the past ten years without landing a single success, so I am quite happy to rule out the older competitors.

Gender

  • None of the five females to run in the past decade were placed

Fillies and mares have a poor record in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The five females that have taken part in the race over the past ten years have all failed to even register a place, while the last winner was Charter, way back in 1983. In short, stick to the boys.

Recent Form

  • 9 of the last 10 King George winners had run in the past 50 days
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had run 2, 3, or 4 times that season
  • 9 of the last 10 winners of the race had finished in the front three last time out
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had won at least once already that season

These trends suggest that a potential King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner will be race sharp, but not overworked, as well as being in some semblance of form. The exception to the first of these three trends was making his seasonal debut and is clearly something of a trend busting blip.

Past Form

  • 8 of the last 10 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winners had won before over the trip (1m 4f)
  • 7 of the last 10 winners had already won a Group One race in their career

These trends suggest that a potential King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner must be proven at the trip, as well as possessing a certain amount of class.

The two exceptions to the distance trend were trying a mile and a half for the first time in their careers, but had already won Group One races over 1m 2f. All three exceptions to the Group One rule had won Group Two races by over three lengths.

Summary

After applying the above trends to the 2012 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes field, we are left with two horses – Sea Moon and Deep Brillante.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Sea Moon must surely have a cracking chance at success in the 2012 King George, particularly as he seems to act on all kinds of ground, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if he won, but at a best price of just 3/1 (4.00) I’m going to plump for the value option instead, which is the Japanese Derby winner Deep Brillante at 20/1 (21.00) with BetVictor.

The three year old has never finished out of the front three in Group Company and last time out won the Group One Japanese Derby by a nose, his first attempt at 1m 4f. A soft ground win is present in the form book, which is useful given how the British summer has gone so far, and the horse has already arrived in the country – ten days ago in fact – and was described as being “as lively as he normally is” just a day after arriving, so there shouldn’t be any excuses on that front.

All in all, 20/1 just seems a little bit insulting to the colt and I’ll be having an Each-Way nibble about him for the 2012 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Advice

The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Saturday 21st July 2012, 16:35
Deep Brillante (Each-Way) @ 20/1 (21.00) with BetVictor)

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