Ascot King George Set to be Race of the Season
In the weeks leading up to the King George at Ascot, we have all been anticipating a clash between Enable and Crystal Ocean, billing it as a wonderful clash between two top class horses. Then on Monday at the five day declaration stage, Aidan O’Brien entered his Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck to give us a three way clash and potentially the race of the season.
Enable came back and showed her best in the Coral Eclipse as she warms up for a third tilt at the Arc at the end of the season. She is the horse to beat, and has set a high level for the rest to aim at. The slight doubt over the Eclipse being her first run of the season is not here, we have seen her this season and there is a chance that she comes on for that run, which would make her incredibly difficult to beat.
Crystal Ocean has been working his way to the top and has now reached it, winning at Group One level at the recent Royal Ascot meeting. He is a typical Sir Michael Stoute horse, one that improves with age and looking at him, it looks as though this will be his best season. He is the one that will be aiming to spoil the party, it is not often a horse wins a Royal Ascot Group One and then comes into their next race as the underdog. However, that is exactly what Crystal Ocean is doing here, but don’t discount the Stoute horse, he is running at the top of his game right now.
Then we have the intriguing element, the Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck. You could argue the Derby form is yet to really hold up, with the exception of Japan who has gone on from strength to strength, but the fact is that this horse won this year’s Derby.
He gets the weight allowance by going up against the older horses, and looks as though he is going to need it based on the rivals he faces. Enable and Crystal Ocean are not just any older horses, they are two of the best in training anywhere in the world, this is certainly a big ask for this horse. However, he must be pleasing Aidan O’Brien at home to be put in this race, he wouldn’t be entering him for nothing.
At the five day stage we are setting ourselves up for a clash between three top quality horses. Anthony Van Dyck has the most to prove, but he gets the 3yo allowance here which brings him right into the race. Enable is the horse we all know and love, and Crystal Ocean is on fire and right at the top of his game now after slow and steady improvement.
Watch out for the final declarations on Thursday, and if these three stay in then this is going to be one of the most talked about and best races of the season at Ascot on Saturday afternoon.