King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes | Royal Ascot | Race Profile
The 2018 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot
About the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Contested at 1.5 miles (2,400 meters) each July at Ascot Racecourse in England, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 race on turf open to horses aged three years or older. Informally referred to as the “King George”, the race is Britain’s most prestigious open-age flat race.
The King George purse increased to £1,150,000 ($1.62 million) in 2016, and is Britain’s second-richest horse race behind the Epsom Derby. In 2011, the King George became part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, and the winner now earns an automatic invitation to compete in the same year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.
In 2017, 3-year-old super filly Enable won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as she powered clear of Ulysses in the stretch and held firm to win by four lengths. Enable won the Group 1 Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks in June and July before the King George, and then won two more Group 1 races capturing the Yorkshire Oaks and Prix De I’Arc de Triomphe in August and October.
Enable trainer John Gosden decided to skip the 2017 Breeders’ Cup citing he thought it “would be too hard on the filly” after she won six-straight races during her spectacular sophomore season including five straight Group 1 races since June. Ulysses was the morning line favorite for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Turf but was scratched the day before the race upon advice from the track vet. Ulysses finished 4th in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf. However, 2017 King George 4th place finisher Highland Reel did run in the 1 ½ mile Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar and finished third as the defending BC Turf champion.