King George Stats & Trends: The Ascot Group 1 In Numbers
A stellar field is set to line up in the King George at Ascot on Saturday with Derby hero Adayar set to lock horns with multiple Group 1 winner Love in an absolutely barnstorming renewal. One of the showpiece races on the UK Flat calendar, the King George down the years has been won by some of the finest equine talents to grace the track.
Here at HorseRacing.net, we have taken an in-depth look at the last ten winners of the race and picked out some potential key stats and trends that could help you choose that all-important winner at the weekend.
Older Horses Outclass The Classic Generation
A sensational victory in the Derby at Epsom has propelled Adayar into the limelight and the three-year-old Charlie Appleby-trained colt will look to emulate that Classic success on Saturday. However, in the last ten years only three 3-yo's have won the King George, with the older horses dominating. Nathaniel (2011), Taghrooda (2014) and Enable (2017) are the only trio of the Classic generation to prevail in the last decade, so Adayar will be looking to etch another three-year-old's name on the roll of honour.
13 three-year-olds have competed in the King George over the last decade, and Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle will add more depth to the three-year-old team in the 2021 running, but with the older fraternity dominating in recent times could that point punters in the direction of four-year-old Love, who is currently the market leader. Receiving weight from their older rivals, the three-year-old pair will have a notable advantage, and with both having shown they can perform at a high level then they both must be considered leading contenders.
Enable's Recent Dominance Skews Stats On Favourites
Wonder mare Enable has been the dominant figure in the King George in recent times, as the three-time John Gosden-trained champion has obliterated her rivals to claim the Ascot crown in three of the last four years, and in all three wins she has been sent off a red-hot favourite. A winner at 5/4 favourite in the 2017 renewal, Enable's win followed on from Highland Reel's success in 2016, where the Aidan O'Brien-trained raider was sent off the 13/8 jolly, So, in four of the last five runnings of the King George, the favourite has prevailed, and only Poet's Word was a non-winning favourite in 2018, but he was sent off a paltry 7/4 second favourite that day.
However, prior to the recent dominance of favourites, the previous five years had seen the favourites disappoint with the likes of Danedream (9/1 in 2012) and Postponed (6/1 in 2015) upsetting the apple cart. There's be no winner priced at double-figured odds in the last ten years, so it could be wise to stick with those at the head of the betting, and can current race favourite Love add another winner to the favourites column this weekend?
Male v Female - Who Prevails?
Yet again the dominance of Enable has meant the female flag has flown highest over the last couple of years, but prior to her King George trilogy the only other female horse to claim King George glory was 2014 Oaks heroine Taghrooda. A three-length winner over Telescope, Taghrooda was a sensational winner of the King George seven years ago, but there have been six male winners of the race in the last ten years.
Nathaniel is the only three-year-old colt to bag success, and that came back in 2011, while Danedream, Novellist and Highland Reel were three four-year-old male performers that have shone brightest. With a battle of the sexes destined for the 2021 King George with Adayar flying the male flag and Love the female one, it's sure to be a humdinger. Of the nine entries prior to the final declarations on Thursday, there are two fillies (Love and Wonderful Tonight), while the remaining seven runners will be colts and geldings!
Last Time Out Winner - A Benefit
Not since Galileo in 2001 has a Derby winner gone on and claimed King George glory later in the season, but Adayar is looking to etch himself in an illustrious list alongside the legendary Ballydoyle runner, and Charlie Appleby's star will head to Berkshire on the back of a win in his last outing.
That bodes well according to the stats of the last 10 renewals, as six of the last ten winners of the King George were victorious in their race before the Ascot showpiece. Of the nine entered for Saturday's event, Adayar is joined by four of other last-time-out winners with the Aidan O'Brien-trained trio of Love (Prince Of Wales's Stakes, Broome (Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Japan (Meld Stakes) all having won their last outing, while star filly Wonderful Tonight was last seen winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.
That quality quintet tasted victory in some of the most heralded middle-distance races on the Flat calendar on their last racecourse appearances, and you have to feel that one of them can enhance the already impressive record of last-time-out winners here.
Trainer Record - Gosden The Man To Follow?
Masterminding Enable's hat-trick of King George wins, John Gosden has become a regular figure in the Group 1 winner's enclosure at Ascot on King George day, and over the last ten seasons the legendary handler has stood in front of the Number 1 post on five occasions. Nathaniel's glory in the 2011 renewal handed Gosden his first win in the race, and he followed that up with Taghrooda's success in 2014, with Enable's three wins bolstering his record to five wins in ten years.
Gosden's prime adversary in recent seasons has been the mighty Aidan O'Brien, and the man that has been a dominant figure in Group 1 races on British soil is looking for his second King George in the last ten years. Saddling Highland Reel to victory five years ago, O'Brien will be triple-handed with Love spearheading the Irish charge, with Japan and Broome a brace of classy performers featuring. The aforementioned Gosden will be represented by Mishriff on Saturday, while Charlie Appleby will be bidding for a first King George prize with the exciting Adayar.
Summary - King George In Numbers
- 4 of the last 10 favourites have won
- 3 of the last 10 winners have been 3-y-o
- 4 of the last 10 winners have been filly/mares
- 6 of the last 10 winners have won on their final start before the King George
- John Gosden has won 5 of the last 10 renewals - saddles Mishriff in 2021 King George