King George Stakes Betting

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The phrase “mad dash” comes to mind when thinking of the King George Stakes. The Group 2 flat race covers a distance of only five furlongs, and it often seems that the horses are still just getting up to speed as they scramble past the finish post at this event.

Conducted since 1911 on the straight turf of the Goodwood Racecourse, the King George Stakes was inaugurated to honour Britain’s new monarch, King George V, whose coronation took place the same year. It was initially classed as a Group 3 event in 1971 and only recently gained its current Group 2 status in 2010.

The event takes place each year during the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival in late July or early August. It is considered one of the highlights of Ladies Day, Day Three, which also features the historic £100,000 Goodwood Cup.

Open to Thoroughbreds aged three years or older, the £70,000 King George Stakes attracts some of best sprinters of the season. Each of the youngest entries carries eight stone ten pounds, while those aged four years and older must bear nine stone even. There is an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares.

Penalties are applied to winners of races since 1st November of the previous year. These amount to ten pounds for Group 1 winners, eight pounds for those who have succeeded in Group 2 events, and five pounds for Group 3 victors. Races won as two-year-olds, however, are exempt from the penalties.

Fully six different sprinters have won twice here in the 100-year history of the race. The first to do so was Tetratema in 1920-21, followed by Stingo in 1930-31, Veuve Clicquot in 1936-37 and Abernant in 1949-50. During the second half of the 20th century, Right Boy captured the double in 1958-59 and the European Champion Sprinter of 1993-94, Lochsong, won back-to-back in those two years.

Leading all jockeys in the King George Stakes with a grand total of nine victories is the master himself, Lester Piggott. He started his streak of wins here with the pair on Right Boy and then rode onwards to victories aboard Matatina in 1964, Pugnacity in 1965, Raffingora in 1970, Constans in 1971, Valeriga in 1980 and Tina`s Pet in 1982. Finally, he finished up in triumph on Anita’s Prince in 1984.

Meanwhile, two trainers made their way to the top of the King George Stakes winners list with four victories each. Jack Jarvis set the bar with Veuve Clicquot’s two wins, followed two more with Antecedent in 1941 and Honeyway in 1946. Shortly thereafter, Paddy Prendergast dominated a seven-year stretch with winners Democratic in 1955, Refined in 1957, Floribunda in 1961 and La Tendresse in 1962.

The current sponsor of the King George Stakes is Audi. The automaker has been providing baking since 2005, so the race is sometimes referred to as the Audi Stakes. In previous years, only one other backer ever held the title position. In 1998-99, the event was known as the King George Grosvenor Casinos Stakes.

Some of the leading participants from this race go on to compete in the £240,000 Nunthorpe Stakes, a five-furlong Group 1 sprint held during the York Ebor Festival in August each year. For example, Lochsong won both races in 1993.

On the other hand, it has become more common recently to take the two races in reverse order. The 2005 Nunthorpe Stakes winner La Cucaracha went on to win the King George Stakes in 2006, and Kingsgate Native, the 2007 Nunthorpe victor, came back to win here in 2009. Then, two-time Nunthorpe winner Borderlescott (2008-09) stormed the King George Stakes in 2010, succeeding as an eight-year-old—the only horse above the age of six to win here in decades.

Three-year-olds, five-year-olds and six-year-olds each have a pair of wins since the turn of the new millennium. More commonly, four-year-olds do well in this event, taking three of the four most recent installments plus another in 2000.

Michael Kinane is the only jockey to notch more than one victory here in the past decade, piloting Dietrich to victory in 2001 and then Agnetha in 2002. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute got his second King George Stakes win with Kingsgate Native after a long drought since his first victory with Primo Dominie back in 1985.

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