THE KING GEORGE lies at the heart of the racing calendar, a race where stars are turned into superstars and where lucrative stud careers are established.
Recent winners Galileo, Montjeu and Hurricane Run are enjoying great success at stud, joining a host of earlier winners who have gone on to success in the breeding shed. The last two winners, Conduit and Harbinger, stand at stud in Hong Kong and Japan.
This year sees former favourite and Derby and Arc winner WORKFORCE look to make amends after flopping in this race last year. Champion two year old from 2009 St Nicholas Abbey has been on the comeback trail, winning the Group One Coronation Cup even though he appeared not to find the track to his liking.
Another potential superstar is Goldolphin’s Rewilding, who outpointed Aussie star So You Think in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot after previously winning the Sheema Classic at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night.
WORKFORCE is the selection. Although he lost to So You Think in the Eclipse the shorter trip favoured the Aussie entry and Workforce will be an even more potent force over the mile and a half. He should get some cut in the ground which, on his Arc form, should give him an additional edge over his rivals.
A trainer we nominated to follow two weeks ago was Mick Easterby, and his form has continued, with recent novice stakes winner LAST BID looking to continue winning ways in a five furlong York nursery. He won over course and distance two weeks ago, and won well. His form shows he is progressing nicely, and he can take the first race at York for the locally based connections.
Trainer Roger Varian has been the stand out trainer of 2011 since taking over from his boss Michael Jarvis. He has two big chances in consecutive races on Saturday, both of whom were recent impressive winners. The first is DOMINANT, who we have stayed faithful to all year, and who runs in the Skybet York Stakes, a Group Two contest at 3.05.
He has been unfortunate to win only once this year, and has found success since dropping down in trip. Twice Over will obviously set the benchmark over 1m 2f, however Dominant is getting almost a stone in weight and could be the value bet in a race where younger horses have often thrived.
His other runner STREET SECRET comes in the filly’s handicap. The daughter of Street Cry looks an exceptional prospect for the yard, and can build further on her recent win in handicap company. She stepped up well from a good maiden win to put a good field to bed last time out at Epsom, and the form has been franked with second third and fourth all performing with credit in subsequent runs, and Gold Mine (third) winning next time out.
York (2pm) Last Bid
York (2.30pm) Street Secret
York (3.05pm) Dominant
Ascot (4.30pm) Workforce (Nap)