Who should I bet on for Ascot's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

A classy field is assured for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and we answer some key questions surrounding the summer highlight.

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What is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

The King George (to keep it short) is a July highlight of the turf flat season and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious all-aged contests run in Britain, pitting older horses aged four and up against the Classic generation.

When is it taking place and where's it run?

The 2021 King George is being run on at 3.35pm on Saturday July 24 at Ascot, which has staged the race since its inaugural running in 1951, over a distance of 1m4f (give or take a few yards).

Who are the top trainers and jockeys?

Sir Michael Stoute has bagged six runnings, most recently with Poet's Word in 2018, while John Gosden is threatening to match that record having sent out five winners, including three of the last five courtesy of Enable (2017, 2019 and last year).

Frankie Dettori tied Lester Piggott on seven wins when once again steering Enable home 12 months ago. His other winners are Lammtarra (1995), Swain (1998), Daylami (1999), Doyen and (2004).

For this year's renewal, he has been booked for Martyn Meade's Lone Eagle.

Who's favourite?

Aidan O'Brien's superstar filly Love looks sure to go off as favourite having won on her last four starts, all Group Ones and including one over track and trip at last month's royal meeting, her first outing as a four-year-old.

Last season, the Galileo filly pocketed the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks before soft ground ruled her out of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The forecast good to firm ground holds no fears for her.

Who are the other leading contenders?

Not far behind her in the betting is Epsom Derby winner Adayar, who was seen as more of a St Leger horse by his trainer Charlie Appleby before romping home by four and a half lengths on the Sussex Downs.

In receipt of the weight-for-age allowance - he gets 7lb from Love - he looks a huge danger, although he has yet to race on ground any faster than good.

Lone Eagle, the only other three-year-old in the line up, was only narrowly denied on his most recent start in the Irish Derby at the Corragh, where he was given an enterprising ride by Frankie Dettori.

The form of that race was given a huge boost when the neck winner Hurricane Lane dotted up in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris on his next start.

Any value outsiders?

It's hard to see past the front three in the betting but Mishriff is respected on his two Group One successes and his latest third in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, where he ran too freely and subsequently didn't get home as well as the front two.

Wonderful Tonight clearly loves Ascot having won back-to-back Group races, most recently when beating Broome (who re-opposes here and is possibly running as a pacemaker for stablemate Love) comfortably in the Hardwicke Stakes at the royal meeting.

However, she does like some cut in the ground and connections will be hoping the forecast thundery rain materialises.

Any choice quotes?

"Love is going to come on a lot for the run. We're over the moon with her. She's very genuine and brave," said Aidan O'Brien following her comeback win.

"It's pretty good form, said Martyn Meade of Lone Eagle. I think we would need to improve on that by a couple of pounds looking at Love, but you can do all the scientific analysis you want and come Saturday it'll be how the race is run."

"One of the things that helped at the Curragh was a decent pace and the only problem was the [Aidan] O'Brien pacemaker fading and we were left to kick for home."

"We need to look for a bit of pace because he's not a sprinter. He's quick through the gears, a proper horse I reckon, and we'll see on Saturday whether he'll really go to the top or what his level is."

"She really took me by surprise when she quickened up. She's a very, very classy filly" - William Buick, jockey on Wonderful Tonight.

Who wins?

With just six going to post, tactics will play a big part in the outcome and ground conditions (currently fast but with rain in the forecast) could also be a deciding factor.

LONE EAGLE goes on fast ground but a drop of the wet stuff would be in his favour as it would help to slow down his pacier rivals, and this strong staying type looks a shade of value at the current odds, albeit Love is a worthy favourite.

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