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King George V Stakes preview

Dan Kelly waited for the overnight rain, now he follows up with the tricky handicap which ends the day. @muffinmannhc

5:35 Ascot THU 21 JUN 2012 King George V Stakes (Handicap)

Best 3yo handicap of the season so far, and it's no surprise we are looking at 8s the field. Rougemont running has caused changes all over the places, with nothing rated within 10lbs on ratings, it has resulted in many trainers looking around for jockeys. Using Gabrial The Great and Commitment as examples, last year and 2010 a mark of 85 would see a weight of 8-7, today 8--1, so that has seen Franny Norton get the ride on Gabrial as Jamie Spencer can only do 8-5. JP Guillabert and Fallon can only do 8-6, so Commitment is ridden by Darren Egan.

The pace of the race is likely to be sound enough, going has not eased considerably so it won't be such as slog as they thought it'd be after looking at forecast on Tuesday morning when declaring. Seen the likes of Rocktherunway (1), Samba King (11), Anomaly (14), Fennell Bay (17) and Open Water (20) make all or attempt too in recent starts, so I think it's fair to say we are going to see a solid gallop be set. Which is a plus for my 3 against the field.

Prussian has been known to sit front rank through her races which is a general plus on the round course, and bar a hiccup at Nottingham where combination of the ground and her quick reappearance following a good Musselburgh win, she has a good progressive profile about her. Related to stayers, Dam a Group 2 winner over 13f in France, it has been a surprise to see her run, and win convincingly, at rather sharp tracks. Her Musselburgh form has a very strong look to it. Second was Silver Blaze who in turn has finished 2nd to a decent sort in Valiant at York recently, Clayton placed in both London Gold Cup and Edinburgh Cup since, Act Your Shoe Size dual winner since, Satanic Beat in fifth has even came out since and won. Her run at Redcar was encouraging also, sitting handy, she was able to repel all challengers in the straight, one of them Ruscello a stablemate of Nicholascopernicus. Joe Fanning has chosen Fennell Bay however he;s not shown enough over 10f to suggest this trip is withing his compass, so Martin Dwyer has picked up a nice spare ride here.

Another Redcar winner on shortlist is Cameron Highland(withdrawn). Improved for the experience to win a 9f maiden very comfortably, talk of the Dante and the Derby soon followed. Disappointed in the Epsom Derby Trial won by Goldoni, but I do think there was a number of mitigating circumstances being ground and also the track. Been off a while since, trainer has stated it was due to the ground taking so much of him, and it is interesting hood is applied today, as if there was one plus about Epsom was his improvement in settling during the race, but obvious Roger is thinking there's more to come. His Redcar win suggested more than just a handicapper, and getting 15lbs off top weight here is more than enough to tempt me in.

Finally I can't help but be impressed by Gabrial The Great's run at Chester. A big individual he looked as though he was hating the game from the off. Keen, hugging into the left, Spencer making a premature move on the outside, and hanging again in the straight. The form of that race has been franked with Montaser running out a game winner since at Haydock. Bell has stated this is his best chance of week and everything suggests that will be the case, a small rise in the weights from that race not enough to get Spencer in the saddle, so Franny Norton comes in for the ride, slight worry being 0-40 in last 5 seasons but not many fancied mounts. He looked the type to improve for a bigger field, and a more galloping track, well anything away from Chester is more galloping in nature and there isn't a bigger 3yo handicap than the King George V Stakes.

1pt Win Gabrial The Great @ 10s Ladbrokes (8s Generally)
0.5pt Win Prussian @ 16s Generally

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12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

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