The 2020 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes runners under the spotlight

Fri 24 Jul 2020

Who will come out on top in the three-runner contest? Read a verdict on each contender in our runner-by-runner guide.

1. JAPAN (Ryan Moore)

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Rating: 122. General odds: 11-4.

Watch how Japan landed the Juddmonte International last year

After finishing a half-length third to Anthony Van Dyck in last year’s Derby, Japan went on to enjoy a tremendous summer as he landed the King Edward VII Stakes, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Juddmonte International, before finishing fourth in the Arc.

His Royal Ascot comeback was a little underwhelming, but he was only a head behind Enable when third in the Eclipse three weeks ago.

The problem for Japan is, of the pair, Enable is surely the one more likely to improve given that it was her first start of 2020.

2. SOVEREIGN (William Buick)

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Rating: 117. General odds: 12-1.

Sovereign shaped with plenty of promise on his return to action last time out

Caused a bit of a shock when cutting loose on the front end to win last year’s Irish Derby, and we did not see him again on a racecourse for almost exactly 12 months.

There was definite promise in his comeback in the Vintage Crop Stakes, finishing third without being given an unduly hard race, and significant progress is expected.

He might be the fly in the ointment at attractive odds, especially if similar front-running tactics are employed and he is able to get into an easy rhythm out in front.


Trainer: John Gosden. Rating: 128. General odds: 4-9.

Enable warmed up for this contest in the Coral-Eclipse last time out

There is not much to say about John Gosden’s remarkable mare that has not already been said. The dual Arc heroine was utterly brilliant in this contest in 2017 and got the better of Crystal Ocean in a race for the ages 12 months ago.

Connections could not have been more clear in saying she was a long way from her peak when she made her return to action in the Eclipse, so to finish second to an extremely talented and in-form front-runner in Ghaiyyath was a more than satisfactory start to her season.

With that run under her belt and returning to a mile and a half, Enable is incredibly difficult to oppose.

Big-race verdict:

The lack of a three-year-old in this year’s King George is a disappointment, but hardly surprising given the late start to the season and the proximity of the race to both the English and Irish Derbys earlier in the month.

ENABLE is out to become the first ever three-time winner of the prestigious contest and is expected to do just that following her pleasing comeback in the Eclipse.

Japan was only just behind the great mare at Sandown, but did have a fitness edge and Enable is expected to confirm her superiority.

Sovereign could be the potential fly in the ointment. Last year’s Irish Derby winner was a big eyecatcher on his return to action at the Curragh and it would be no surprise to see him take a big step forward and potentially deny Japan the runner-up spot if things go his way in front.

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