King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes Betting Tips: Crystal Ocean Can Collect at Ascot Again

The 2018 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting tips given by Betting.org experts for the big 1m 4f feature race at Ascot on Saturday, 28 July say course and distance winner Crystal Ocean can go in again. Sir Michael Stoute stablemate Poet’s Word is feared most, while Irish raider Rostropovich looks big each-way value after being runner-up on both of his last two starts. The 2018 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting tips preview has more on these elite horses and their chances of Group 1 glory.

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Odds
5/2
Selection
Crystal Ocean
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Odds
9/4
Danger
Poet's Word
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Odds
25/1
E/W
Rostropovich
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Crystal Ocean gets vote of Stoute duo in King George

Sir Michael Stoute is bidding to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes for a record sixth time at Ascot on Saturday (15:40) and has two leading contenders to land the spoils. There is precious little to choose between them, but we’ve sided with course and distance winner Crystal Ocean for the Group 1 test over a mile-and-a-half.

This four-year-old son of Sea The Stars was a ready winner of the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at the royal meeting last month when sent off odds-on. Racing in second place for much of the contest, Ryan Moore produced Crystal Ocean to take it up two out and he ran on strongly to be more commanding that the eventual winning margin of 2 1/2 lengths.

It was a taking display which saw him established as a clear fancy for this . Crystal Ocean has a 75 per cent strike rate over the trip and finished off last season tackling even further when a half-a-length runner-up to Capri in the extended 1m 6f St Leger at Doncaster.

That Classic contest form, plus the fact he has come out and hit a hat-trick since (starting in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown) are all huge pluses. Connections have booked William Buick to do the steering here too with Godolphin not having a runner.

Crystal Ocean was expected to win all three of his starts this season and has done absolutely nothing wrong in landing them – albeit as a short-price favourite on each occasion. He races off an unchanged mark of 122, which means off level weights he only has 4lb to find on ratings with his stablemate Poet’s Word, but the trip is perfect and he is guaranteed to get it after being campaigned at 1m 4f on four of his last six appearances.

For those reasons, he just gets the nod at fractionally better odds at the time of writing than Stoute’s other runner. Crystal Ocean is thus cracking value to land one of the most prestigious middle distance contests in the Flat racing calendar.

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Unexposed Poet’s Word the main danger

The aforementioned Poet’s Word is better known as a 10 furlong horse, but is the other market principal with considerable claims of his own following a Group 1 success that turned last year’s British Champions Day form round when previously in action.

Before socking it to the possibly re-opposing Cracksman in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the four-year-old made a winning return to action in Britain by landing the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown. Poet’s Word had earlier chased Hawkbill home when a three-length runner-up in the Sheema Classic over in Dubai at Meydan back in March.

That was over the King George trip, but when previously tested at a mile-and-a-half around this time last year at Glorious Goodwood, the son of Poet’s Voice forged ahead in the final furlong and stayed on well to score by 1 1/2 lengths. This demands more because that was a Group 3, but he has ran well at the highest level on every occasion except for at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on his final start of last season.

Form that includes a half-a-length runner-up in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last September and reversing the placings in the British equivalent on Cracksman at Royal Ascot this season is top-drawer. Poet’s Word is clearly a classy horse and has earned a mark of 126 that makes him top-rated in the King George lineup this year.

James Doyle rides him again here and is bang in-form, so everything points to another bold bid. With Cracksman not guaranteed to take his chance unless there is significant rainfall, Poet’s Word is an unexposed at the trip danger that off level weights will make for a fascinating Stoute stable duel.

Rostropovich can go well at a big price

Aidan O’Brien had a whole host of potential dangers entered for this at one stage, but just two have been declared and of his pair Rostropovich looks a bit of each-way value based on how he ran over course and distance and then in the Irish Derby last time out.

Although Hydrangea is the mount of stable jockey Ryan Moore, she was hugely disappointing at Royal Ascot against her own sex over a 1m trip which was arguably too sharp for her, so instead Rostropovich – the sole three-year-old lining up in the King George – is taken to make the frame and continue the huge improvement he has made since first tackling 12 furlongs.

This son of Frankel has a juvenile Group 2 over 7f last season and the Listed Dee Stakes this campaign as notable wins on his CV. While trips to France either side of that Chester May Festival success weren’t fruitful, he was backed down to 7/1 for the King Edward VII Stakes over course and distance at Royal Ascot last time out and chased home Old Persian.

Although a running on second and 1 3/4 lengths behind that Godolphin owned rival then, Rostropovich reversed the form in really gutsy fashion in the Irish Derby at The Curragh last time out. He had Old Persian beaten nearly four lengths and was just denied victory after rallying superbly when headed by the winner Latrobe to go down fighting half-a-length when almost back on terms in the closing stages.

Rostropovich outran his odds of 25/1 in that Classic contest and, given that it has earned him an official rating of 114 and he gets 11lb from the market principals on weight-for-age, he may be underestimated by bookmakers again here.

He is trading at a similar price in the King George market. That means he is overpriced with the great leveller being that allowance, so it would be no surprise at all to see Rostropovich make the frame yet again.

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