Enable, Crystal Ocean clash in King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

July 25th, 2019

It’s a showdown of top-class caliber at one of the world’s oldest Thoroughbred racetracks. It’s one of the most prestigious races in all of Europe. It’s the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1), scheduled to be held for the 69th time Saturday at in England.

Every year the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf) matches some of the best horses in Europe against each other. Colts and fillies, 3-year-olds and olderthey all turn out to contest this 1 1/2-mile test of speed, stamina and class.

This year’s renewal is no exception. The depth and quality of the field is remarkable. There’s Epsom Derby (G1) winner #10 Anthony Van Dyck and Coronation Cup (G1) winner #3 Defoe. Shipping in from Japan is the 2017 Japan Cup (G1) winner #1 Cheval Grand, while French form will be represented by the Prix Ganay (G1) victor #7 Waldgeist.

Yet all of these accomplished runners will be overshadowed in the wagering by #8 Enable and #2 Crystal Ocean. A glance at their recent form suggests the two favorites are evenly matched. Crystal Ocean defeated grade 1 winner Magical by 1 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at last month, while Enable edged Magical by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/4-mile Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown three weeks ago. Crystal Ocean received a 128 Racing Post Rating for his victory, while Enable earned a 124.
But examine their overall records, and it’s obvious why Enable will be fully expected to prevail Saturday. Trained by John Gosden, the 5-year-old daughter of Nathaniel is among the greatest horses seen in Europe in recent years. Her 11-for-12 record includes eight grade/group 1 victories, including back-to-back triumphs in the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) and an effortless 4 1/2-length victory in the 2017 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Enable had to work a bit to win the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, but keep in mind she was running a distance shorter than her best in her first start of 2019. Enable will stretch back out to 1 1/2 miles Saturday, a distance over which she's undefeated in eight starts, and with a prep run under her belt, she should be ready for a big performance in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Crystal Ocean is a worthy opponent, but keep in mind Enable trounced him by 3 1/2 lengths in the September Stakes (G3) at Kempton in September. And acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori, who guided both Enable and Crystal Ocean to their recent victories, will stick with Enable on Saturday.
This is hardly a creative opinion, but barring an unforeseen reversal of form, Enable should have little difficulty emerging victorious in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. And Crystal Ocean, in turn, should prove clearly best of the rest, leaving the other nine entrants to battle for the minor awards.

Want to have a rooting interest in the outcome of this much-anticipated showdown? Then let’s play a cold exactaEnable over Crystal Ocean.

$20 exacta: 8 with 2

Good luck!