Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
ASCOT anticipate a crowd of between 14,000 and 15,000 at the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The news follows the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions today (Monday) on the number of racegoers permitted to attend fixtures which had previously been restricted to a maximum of 4,000 people at each fixture.
Nine runners remain in contention for the valuable mid-summer showpiece after the injury-enforced withdrawal of Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver who was found to be lame after a recent workout.
The boutique field is headed by 2020 QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner Love, who returned with a game success in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Love heads the betting at 5-4 from this year’s Cazoo Derby winner Adayar (7-4) who bids to become the first Epsom Derby winner in 20 years to win the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stake and the Derby in the same year; a feat last achieved by Galileo in 2001.
Nick Smith, director of racing and public affairs at Ascot, said: “We will probably be at half capacity for the King George. We are expecting something around 14,000 or 15,000 depending on how sales go this week.
“We have had a very short sales window in terms of the final confirmation restrictions would be lifted on 19th July and actually being able to proactively market the race.
“It is looking like being a vintage running of the race, and if the weather holds it should be a fantastic day and we’d love as many people as possible to come.
“This is what the King George is all about. It’s a real shame that Pyledriver has come out and we hope he is back on track soon, but it sounds like Mishriff will run now and if the others stand their ground, then we will have the race of the season, which is what it should be. We are looking forward to it.”
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