Thursday 19 April 2018

Workforce odds-on for King George glory

Thomas Kelly

IRISH Derby hero Cape Blanco is one of two Aidan O'Brien entries for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, which is dominated by the Michael Stoute twin towers of Workforce and Harbinger.

Workforce was a hugely impressive winner of the Epsom Derby on his latest appearance and bids to become the first three-year-old since Alamshar in 2003 to win Ascot's showpiece.

Harbinger arrives on the back of a runaway success in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and will be ridden by Olivier Peslier, with stable jockey Ryan Moore siding with the Epsom hero. Stoute trained Conduit, Tartan Bearer and Ask to a one-two-three in the race 12 months ago and is an outside bet to repeat the feat having also left in pacemaker Confront.

O'Brien has saddled Galileo (2001), Dylan Thomas (2007) and Duke Of Marmalade (2008) to King George success and his main candidate this time is Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco, quoted at a generous-looking 7/1.

Epsom runner-up At First Sight could join him and the Ballydoyle supremo is expected to make a final decision on his runners and a replacement jockey for the suspended Johnny Murtagh tomorrow.

John Gosden's three-time Group One winner Dar Re Mi will bid to become the first filly or mare to win the race since Time Charter in 1983, a statistic which also faces French raider Daryakana. The luckless Youmzain completes the field.

Meanwhile, Jim Bolger took the opener at Ballinrobe last night when Myrine ran away with the Paddy Smyth Memorial Maiden under Kevin Manning in the Michael Ryan silks.

Manning sent the winning choicely bred daughter of Sadler's Wells to the front over two furlongs out and crossed the line a distance in front.

Pat Flynn has his string in serious order and Joseph O'Brien rode a winner for him when guiding Binocular (GB) to victory in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap. The son of Observatory was always prominent and he led two furlongs, holding off Lough Ferrib by three parts of a length.

Flynn doubled up when Yes Missus captured the Niall Gilmartin Memorial Maiden under Danny Grant, who made all on the chestnut, sending her clear from over a furlong out for a five-and-a-half-length success.

Ado McGuinness' versatile Beau Michael took the the Martin Tyrrell Auctioneers Handicap by six lengths.

King George VI betting -- 10/11 Workforce, 9/4 Harbinger, 7/1 Cape Blanco, 12/1 Dar Re Mi, Youmzain, 14/1 Daryakana, 50/1 bar.

Irish Independent

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