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King George V Stakes preview

Royal Ascot tradition is to end the day with a bloody impossible handicap. No change here then.....

Putting a bit more effort in than most of us last gasp dart-throwers in Sam Preen, @sampreen, whose work can also found on his blog

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KING GEORGE V STAKES (5:35 ROYAL ASCOT – THURSDAY)

· Ah, another big field handicap to end the day. A field of 19 runners line up to tackle the contest, and here is the rundown…

Cap O’Rushes
First up is Godolphin’s second string, who ran a respectable race in defeat at Newbury in a minor event on his first start at 3 in April. He’s bred to stay this far, and he’s one that should improve in time, but he will need to improve further to land this on another step up in trip.

Excellent Result
Finally got off the mark on his fourth start after a pleasing third on his debut last September, running out a very easy winner at Sandown in a maiden last month, dropping down to Class 5. That was a great effort for such a weak race, but he’s another who will need to improve to defy his current mark.

Soviet Rock
Andrew Balding’s runner has been progressive since landing his York maiden, and he’s carried on that good run of form by adapting front running tactics on both starts this year (Both Newmarket, 10f), He’s a bit high in the weights for this but he’s clearly in the form of his life, so he can’t be ruled out easily.

Eshtiaal
Hat trick seeking Eshtiaal heads here after following up his maiden win in a handicap at Yarmouth, over 11 furlongs. The distance winner is very lightly raced for three, and has much more to offer on only his fifth start with ground in his favor.

Royal Skies
The penny finally dropped for Royal Skies, when he came to life earlier this month, before running out two comfortable successes at Pontefract and Musselburgh. He’s turned out quickly for this, having ran only 5 days ago, but the wide draw is obviously off putting.

Another Cocktail
Another Cocktail only got off the mark on his return at April, and ran a reasonable race playing the bridesmaid at Epsom in a minor event on his next start. He’s never really sparkled on testing conditions and was way below par in the Derby Trial in May (30 lengths last of four), but this task isn’t much easier.

Shrewd
Shrewd got off the mark on three of his five starts at two, showing talent when he won a 9 furlong Newmarket nursery on his last start. He’s not been seen since, and although he should stay this far, it’s a very stiff task to win this on his seasonal debut.

Space Shipvio
John Gosden’s runner didn’t get off the mark until his sixth start, but contested in some hot maidens, including running behind Telescope last September. His last run didn’t suit the tactics of holding him up didn’t work out well, when he was sixth behind Pasaka Boy, and came home in his own time when it was obvious he was beaten. Providing he’s ran to his usual tactics, he should see out the trip but doesn’t look like the winner.

Pether’s Moon
Hannon’s runner Pether’s Moon was desperately unlucky not to win at Salisbury last time, just going down by a head to Swing Easy, finishing well clear of the remaining runners. He’s only won over a mile, on his seasonal debut, over Kempton’s polytrack, and showed improvement on his last run. He looks more than capable of seeing out this trip and does look an interesting contender.

Bold Sniper
The Queen’s runner has really come to life since being applied with headgear, winning both starts wearing it, including a comfortable win over this trip in testing conditions, and then following up with an eyecatching run on his handicap debut. Obviously, he’ll have no problem seeing out this trip, and looks to be thereabouts.

Pasaka Boy
Sprung an upset last time when he won a valuable handicap at Epsom on Derby Day, a length and a half clear of Greeleys Love, who also runs in this. He ran a brilliant race that day, but this time round, he’s up in the weights and has an outside draw to overcome, both in which will go against him.

Spillway
Spillway brought his all weather form onto polytrack, winning a reasonable handicap at Sandown before running a good third behind High Troja over a mile and a quarter at Newbury last time. He should stay this longer trip from a reasonable draw, and it would be of no surprise if he’s thereabouts come the finish.

Elidor
Still a maiden after six runs, playing the bridesmaid on his last two, but ran a much better race on his last start in the Derby Trial, finishing nine lengths second to Nevis. His run at Doncaster was also given a form boost, when Mad Moose (yes, THAT Mad Moose) was second in a Group 3 at Chester in May. He’s got the ability to win a race some time, but it looks unlikely here.

Carry On Sydney
The lesser-fancied Hannon runner, he won a six furlongs maiden last October and played the runner up three times this year, before a below par run at Newmarket last time. He’s a talented runner in weaker races, but can be overlooked here.

Greeleys Love
Sole win came under the care of Kevin Ryan, last year, and he’s hit the frame three times for new connections, sporting a variety of headgear (blinkers and visor), both have which have been left off for this. He ran way below par at York last week, taking a keen hold before eventually tailing off, so he’s another who can be crossed off.

Salutation
Another Johnston runner, Salutation won at Nottingham in may, and ran another good race when he was second over 9 furlongs at Sandown last week. He looks a smart sort, and the longer trip should go in his favor, but his stablemates make more appeal.

Number One London
Another maiden who has made steady progress this season, making the frame on all four of his starts this year, and looked as if he needed a step up in trip after his run at Newmarket on his last start. He can’t be ruled out that he’ll break his maiden tag here, and has to be taken seriously on his first start over this trip.

Red Runaway
Won handicaps over this trip at Leicester and Chester earlier in the year, and the quicker ground looked likely to have gone against him when he was fourth at Haydock on his last start. He’s got bags of ability over this trip, and though he’s from an unfavorable draw, he’s worth another chance here.

Conclusion: James Doyle had a day to remember on Wednesday, racking up an incredible treble before shooting off to Kempton. He rides Red Runaway, who’s well suited by this ground and trip, but ran way below par when he was favorite at Haydock last time. Though it’s another tough contest, these big fields have always been notorious to throw up some outsiders, and this one looks interesting, ahead of interesting maiden Number One London, while a royal winner in the shape of Bold Sniper cannot be ruled out either. – 28/1 (Betvictor – e/w)

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