King George Weekend 2021 is upon us. First run in 1951, last season saw Enable land her third win in the headline race on its 70th anniversary, but she is just one of many iconic horses who has been successful here. The first middle distance Group One contest of real significance, the King George, is the highlight on the Saturday afternoon and is often the first chance for this season’s Classic generation to take on their elders and prove their true abilities. Thirteen Epsom Derby winners have gone on to cement their places in history here, starting with Tulyar in 1952, ending with Galileo in 2001, and with the very best horses history has to offer winning in between including Mill Reef, Nijinsky, Brigadier Gerard, and Dahlia (the first dual winner).
More recent winners of The King George include Shergar, Dancing Brave and Nashwan in the 1980s, Generous and Swain (twice) in the 90s, Montjeu and Galileo in the 2000s, and Taghrooda and Enable in the 10s, with mares dominant in that decade. There simply isn’t another race that can boast such a stellar list of the very best horses over the last 70 years, though naturally, the King George is not the only important race over the two days.
Friday is very much the supporting card, but we still have four competitive handicaps to get our teeth in to, plus the Group Three Valiant Stakes won by 12/1 shot Lady Bowthorpe last season. The Listed Winkfield Stakes gets the racecourse rocking, closely followed by the Group Three Princes Margaret Stakes and the International Stakes, a seven-furlong handicap that invariably attracts a big field, with last year’s favourite Blue Mist winning at 9/2 under Ryan Moore and cheering the punters – if not the bookmakers.
The weather leading up to the weekend could have a say in the results, but generally speaking, Ascot provides a lush layer of turf, good racing ground (they will water if necessary) and a very fair track with minimal draw bias. That means few, if any, excuses barring luck in running.
A look back over the last 10 years at Ascot in July and there are a few statistics that are worthy of some serious consideration before looking deeper into the King George betting, or any other race for that matter.
The best horses are always sent here for both the kudos and the prize money, so finding an angle is never easy, but we do have a few nuggets of note. Looking at the trainers first, there are three standouts, with Mark Johnston topping the financial charts with 55 points of profit in the last decade, Richard Hannon leading the way with the most winners (27), and Sir Mark Prescott perhaps the surprise package with a 42% strike rate (of wins), all figures to take into account for the King George weekend.
Frankie Dettori fans will be disappointed to know that following the popular Italian jockey blindly would see you out of pocket, but if you switch to Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby, you would have backed plenty of winners – and made 36 points.
Of course, we would all love to make a profit, but it’s the horses we are there to see, and looking at Ascot overall (not limited to King George weekend), do keep an eye out for those wearing blinkers for the first time, usually marked on a racecard as “b1”. Of those there have only been the two winners from 25 starters, but at very big prices leading to a profit of 35 points, and that is something to at least consider for small stakes for a bit of fun.
When you have the best horses, jockeys, and owners in one place for the King George weekend, there is nothing more rewarding than walking away having backed a winner. Hopefully we can find you a winner or two in our King George tips.
The King George itself has to be the race to focus on, and although we have the utmost respect for Love, with Aidan O’Brien’s outstanding filly looking for her fourth win in a row, she has to give weight to the younger generation and that could prove a huge ask. ADAYAR won the Epsom Derby fairly comfortably by over four lengths and with the form franked by third placed stablemate Hurricane Lane since, he should prove hard to beat. As a son of Frankel out of a Dubawi mare, there is no reason to think the faster ground won’t bring about further improvement and he sits in his rightful place near the front of the King George betting.
BOUYANT, the once-raced son of Awtaad, looked an unlucky loser when third on his debut after failing to get a clear run at Windsor earlier in the month, and with improvement likely, he will go close to winning in the maiden at 1.55pm on the Friday afternoon. The ground seems sure to be faster here but that should not be a problem on breeding, and with a decent passage here he can hopefully hit a place as a minimum in this more competitive event, and for the in-form Martyn Meade stable.
There is no doubt that the International Stakes on the Saturday afternoon is likely to be one of the most competitive events of the entire weekend, and with winners at odds up to 50/1 (Stamp Hill in 2017) it seems that all things are possible. The Bunbury Cup at Newmarket has proved a solid guide to horses with chances and seven winners and numerous placed horses came here after racing in that event – this year may well follow that pattern. Motakhayyel won that day with ease and a 3lb penalty may not stop him following up but at a bigger price, how about fourth placed SHINE SO BRIGHT? He is only four pounds better off with the winner for five lengths at Newmarket, but he started slowly that day giving away ground before finishing with a rattle, and if he can break with the rest of the field he won’t be too far away.
The best horse racing tipsters will often suggest the number of points you should stake on each bet. For example, a two-point win, or a one point each way bet. This method can be used for all levels of horse racing bettor, as you decide how much each betting point is worth.
If you start with a total betting pot of £50, each point is worth 50p. If you start with £100, each point is worth £1. Simply divide your total betting pot by 100 to work out how much each point is worth.
Once you boost your betting bank by 50% with winnings, you should increase your point value accordingly. For example, if you build up 150 points, your point value should increase by 50%, so £1 becomes £1.50 and £5 becomes £7.50.
King George Weekend do’s and donts - a list of things a user should be do/not be doing when it comes to betting on/watching the festival.
DO enjoy the racing and if you can, why not go to the track? There is a King George dress code of collared shirt and tie, no trainers for men, smart dress and hats preferred for ladies
DO work out what you can afford to lose and bet accordingly
DO split your money between the two days
DO enjoy the racing, the form study and the horses
DO read, learn, and make up your own mind, it is your money after all
DON’T forget your sun cream – it’s likely to be a scorcher this weekend
DON’T assume you will make a profit – if only it was that easy
DON’T ever chase your losses
DON’T bet in every race unless you have a fancied horse in it
DON’T just assume others know more than you with their King George tips – more often than not that just isn’t the case.
Having a bet can make racing more fun, but we can all keep it in check if we follow our own rules. Never bet more than you can afford (pennies can be just as much fun as pounds) and remember – no-one can make you have a bet if you don’t want to. Bookmakers now have a list of handy tools to help too, from time-outs to self-exclusion, and we have all used them from time to time. Betting can be a hobby, the research and calculations are great fun, and getting it right does feel good, but horses are not machines and whatever selection you come up with, there is no guarantee the horse will run as expected.
If you do ever find yourself being tempted to bet beyond your limits there are plenty of organisations around to give you help and practical advice. We encourage you to always take advantage of the assistance on offer to make sure you are gambling responsibly at all times. If you are ever worried about your levels of gambling, please contact organisations such as GamCare that can help you.
What time is the King George race?
The King George race, the big one of the day, is due off at 3.35pm on Saturday 24th July and will be over in around about two and a half minutes. Novellist holds the record with a time of 2 minutes 24.60 seconds in 2013 – yet the German trained winner is one of the least remembered.
When is the King George horse race?
The King Geroge horse race takes place at Ascot racecourse on Saturday the 24th July 2021. The race is often called the most important middle-distance race of the summer in Europe. The winner here will leapfrog his or her rivals in the Arc betting, the next big twelve-furlong contest from Paris in October.
How many days is the King George Weekend?
Just the two days. In that regard it is unlike other longer festivals, such as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood, but its days are crammed with intriguing and informative contests, and the form is invariably well worth following over the weeks, months and even years ahead.
What is the best type of bet for the King George Ascot?
Finding the winner is always a good start, but if not, why not consider a bigger priced option to make it into the front two or three (depending on the number of runners) for an each-way bet? Start your research near the head of the market as we haven’t seen a winner priced in double figures in the big race since 1997, with the front four in the betting responsible for 22 of the last 23 winners.
Who are the previous winners of the King George Weekend?
Speedo Boy won the Brown Jack handicap over two miles in 2018 and is entered to run in it again this season, while Koemann won the 3.35pm Friday afternoon in the same year (2018) and is down for a repeat attempt as well.
What time is the last race at King George Ascot?
All good things sadly come to an end, and at 4.45pm on Saturday 24th July we round things off for the two-day King George Weekend, with a mile and a half all aged handicap which follows on from the Longines Handicap for Amateur Female Jockeys at 4.10pm, with both races looking sure to be highly competitive events.