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ITV Racing Tips: Mishriff best qualified to solve King George conundrum

| 22.07.2022

Ascot looks set to host what looks to be an absolutely classic renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Europe’s midsummer middle-distance highlight.

In recent times, the race has taken a knock for not attracting a single three-year-old runner, but that is not the case again this year as arguably the best three-year-old colt and filly at 1m4f take on a team of older horses that include multi-millionaire Mishriff and the Arc winner Torquator Tasso.

With six horses declared, the King George can’t match the Arc for number of runners but the quality is right up there.

The King George anchors the TV coverage which is shared between Ascot and York. Ascot also stages the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes and International Handicap while York hosts a Group 2 race and a valuable sprint handicap.

They comprise a seven-race line-up, four from Ascot and three from York, to be shown by ITV from 13:25. We have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

13:50 Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes

Plenty of promising candidates, but one of proven calibre in the Ralph Beckett-trained filly Lezoo. The winner of two of her three starts, including one at Listed level, is arguably unlucky not to remain unbeaten.

She went down by a battling half-length to Mawj in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket last time where the winner carried her across the track in the closing stages. A reproduction of that effort should be at least enough to get her back in the winner’s circle.

15:00 International Stakes 

The favourites have won the last two runnings of this competitive 7f handicap and Jumby could have that honour this time. Cheekpieces are fitted for this challenge after he met trouble in running when third in the Bunbury Cup.

Royal Hunt Cup winner, Dark Shift, is bound to go well again in a race featuring a whole host of course and distance specialists.

The Queen’s Tactical is among them, who was an unlucky sixth at Royal Ascot in the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

So too was Chiefofchiefs, a regular at the track. He was fourth and while he has converted only one of his nine Ascot runs into a victory so far, he won’t be far away.

15:35 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Adayar became only the third three-year-old in ten years to win the King George last year, but that statistic is slightly misleading as in some of those years there were no three-year-old runners.

That is not the case this year with both Westover and Emily Upjohn looking to make the most of a significant weight-for-age advantage.

Westover, runner-up in the Derby, was an impressive winner of the Irish Derby although that didn’t look a strong renewal. Emily Upjohn was an unlucky loser in the Oaks and was switched to this race after travel problems prevented her running in last weekend’s Irish Oaks.

This is a much stiffer challenge for her, but she needs to run to show whether she can live up to the high potential she demonstrated in the spring. With neither having yet taken on older horses there is a lot of guesswork involved as to how good they are.

The safest bet is Mishriff who reminded everyone what a talent he is in the Coral-Eclipse when he finished fast and late to claim second place after having to be switched out of trouble. He split Adayar and Love in this contest a year ago and is entitled to come forward again after his first start for five months.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 23rd July

13:50 Ascot – Princess Margaret Stakes

14:05 York – 5f Handicap

14:25 Ascot – Valiant Stakes

14:40 York – 6f Handicap

15:00 Ascot – International Stakes

15:15 York – York Stakes

15:35 Ascot – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

View the latest horse racing odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Jonathan Lees