John Gosden believes that Golden Horn is the ‘legitimate favourite’ for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes this weekend.
After seeing his unbeaten colt storm to victory in the Coral-Eclipse earlier this month, the Newmarket trainer is confident of more success for Golden Horn on Saturday (3.50pm).
And ahead of the one and a half mile open-age flat race at Ascot, Gosden is expecting there to be tough competition from the entrants of fellow Newmarket-based trainers Luca Cumani, Marco Botti and David Simcock.
“He’s the legitimate favourite, but it looks likely to be a very contentious race,” Gosden said. “One of my other runners, Eagle Top, is running and he’ll have to be on top form to beat him.
“Snow Sky who won the Hardwicke Stakes is in good form. Luca Cumani’s Postponed is up there too and was unlucky in that race.
“There’s lots of Newmarket horses in there so it’s shaping up to be a good race.”
Golden Horn is a heavy favourite to stretch his unbeaten record to 6-0 and scoop the £652,165 first place prize this weekend, and with it gain automatic qualification into the Breeders’ Cup Turf at the end of October.
A possible entry into the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe could also be on the cards later this year, but Gosden insists any future plans for the son of Cape Cross will not be decided until after the race.
“We’ll take it one race at a time,” he said. “Our focus right now is on the King George which will be a meeting of the generations.
“I’m hoping it will be run on an even gallow. Hopefully it will be an uncomplicated and clean race.”
Gosden has embraced the challenge of entering younger horses in the British Champions Series race, having triumphed in recent years with three-year-olds Taghrooda (2014) and Nathaniel (2011).
“Our three-year-old competing in it is very healthy for racing,” he said. “And because there are three-year-olds running in it again it has brought it back into the number one open-age race in England and Ireland.”
Along with the two favourites Golden Horn and Eagle Top, Gosden also has a third entrant in 40/1 outsider Romsdal who is competing in his first Group One race of the season.
The Corsican (25/1) and Madame Chiang (40/1) are Simcock’s two runners, while Botti’s hopes lie with Dylan Mouth who is priced at 25/1.