Where to Watch the Horse Racing This Weekend
July 26, 2018
As the scorching summer sun continues, the horse racing season goes from strength to strength. Another bumper weekend of action is coming our way with fifteen races scheduled across the length and breadth of the UK.
But where exactly should you watch the racing this weekend? Here’s our preview of the best meetings and key contenders.
Ascot, Friday 27th July
Aside from Royal Ascot, the King George weekend is the most important meeting to take place at this iconic venue. The pick of these is the Markerstudy British EBF Valiant Stake, a prestigious Class I race between nine select runners with a generous first prize of £34,026.
David Barron’s four-year old horse Clon Coulis is the early favourite here, with three wins from just seven flat race outings to date. This included a ground-breaking performance last time out at Pontefract, where she won for the first time beyond six furlongs, taking the Pipalong Stakes by a comfortable two-and-three-quarter lengths. A prize of 13/2 certainly reflects the form and pedigree of this runner.
For those who are in the market for a slightly more progressive wager, the 3/1 shot Preening may be of interest. This three-year old horse has won two from five career flat races to date, while she kicked off her stint in the handicaps with a decisive win at Sandown back in June. She’s likely to be a key contender here and offers value as a viable each-way bet.
Ascot, Saturday 28th July
We’re staying in Ascot on Saturday as the esteemed King George weekend reaches a thrilling conclusion with a further seven flat races.
This includes the Class I King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Run over one mile and three furlongs, this iconic race will see eight of the UK’s top runners compete for a staggering first prize of £708,875.
The race has arguably been blown wide open in recent weeks, after John Gosden’s colt Cracksman showed inconsistent form and temperament during the Spring. This was particularly evident during the Coronation Cup, when the previously dominant horse was beaten by Poet’s Word in the Price of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. This caused him to change from a short-priced favourite to a relative outside at 8/1.
Instead, Sir Michael Stoute’s Poet’s Word has emerged as the narrow favourite for the race, with odds of 7/4. Having twice finished as a runner-up in the Champion Stakes, he performed superbly to take the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and is widely expected to deliver again here.
Another one of Stoute’s runners is also priced at 7/4 for the win. The four-year old Crystal Ocean has won of all of his three flat races this year so far and could not look more like a King George contender following his towering performance in the Hardwicke.
Pontefract, Sunday 29th July
Sunday takes us to Pontefract with seven flat races, including the extremely promising Class I Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes. Twelve runners are expected to compete for their share of the tantalising £50,000 prize fund.
Although no odds have yet been published for this race, we like the look of William Knight’s eight-year old horse Secret Art. While his form has been mixed on the flat this year, he managed to win two consecutive races at Chelmsford City in April and May.
Sir Michael Stoute will also be well-represented here with his precocious, three-year old colt Gabr. Despite having competed in only seven career races to date, his potential was evident when he finished second in a field of twelve earlier this month. So, he may well have a say in the outcome here.