GBI Racing’s stand-out race of the week, and one of the
highlights of the year, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on
Saturday, July 24 at Ascot Racecourse, has attracted a high-class field of
eight at the six-day declaration stage – including the mightily impressive
Investec (English) Derby
The Group 1 midsummer showpiece, run over a mile and a half (2400 metres), has
a £1million prize fund and is due off at 11.25 am (EDT).
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Workforce takes on a star-studded supporting
cast including Royal Ascot hero and stablemate Harbinger (ridden by French ace
Olivier Peslier), Dubai
Blanco, Investec Derby runner-up At First Sight, as well as Dubai Sheema
Classic heroine Dar Re Mi, Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase winner Daryakana and
the ultra-consistent Youmzain.
Daryakana will bid to become the first female winner of the race since Time
Charter in 1983. She was unbeaten in five starts as a 3-year-old and although she
has failed to strike in two starts since the turn of the year, her trainer
Alain de Royer-Dupre feels she is now in peak condition.
The other feature race on Saturday is the £100,000 Group 2 Sky Bet Stakes
(10.05am) at York,
in which Godolphin look to have a strong
hand. The Dubai operation has triumphed in two of the first four renewals of
the Sky Bet York Stakes courtesy of Stage Gift (2007) and last year’s winner
Kirklees, and their total of five entries includes Cavalryman, who took third
in last season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and Antara, successful in a Group
Three at Epsom Downs in June.