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The Race of the British Flat season?
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Date: 07/01/2019

Punters were busy using the best Royal Ascot betting offers across the week, in what proved to be a memorable event. There was an endless list of impressive displays and horses to take forward. One of them is Japan, who could now head to the King George (G1) at Ascot at the end of the month. This race is already billing to be possibly the most anticipated of the Flat season. Here we cover the leading contenders for the race at this early stage.

Heading the market at a general 5/2 is Enable. She is unbeaten in her last nine starts that includes two victories in the Qatar Prix l'Arc de Triomphe (G1). She also won last season's Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) and is likely heading down the same route this season. This meant she became the first horse to win both the Arc and Breeders' Cup Turf in the same season. Enable also landed the 2017 edition of the King George, so if returning in top form is going to take all the beating.

Second in the betting at 3/1 is the ultra-consistent Crystal Ocean. He is coming off the back of landing his first Group One at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. This was a very impressive performance and well deserved as he has yet to finish outside the top three in his entire 15 race career. This performance was also the highest rated of the season as the BHA handicappers pushed him up to a mark of 127. If he brings similar form then he rates a strong contender for the race.

Sea of Class was another horse to contest the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot but failed to fire. The ground clearly went against her chances as she requires fast ground, but if she can return to her best, then she rates a strong contender and can be supported at a general 5/1 at present. She continued to improve last season, which culminated in the unlucky second in the Arc and her season is all about going back and landing that race.

The final horse who must get a mention is the Aiden O'Brien'trained Japan. He is a general 6/1 shot at present, and the question is will connections step him up to take on the older horses? He has clearly taken time to come to himself this season but following on from his close third in the Derby, he landed the King Edward VII (G2) with ease at the Royal meeting. This was a hugely impressive display and he now looks the leading three-year-old at present. Japan would be a strong contender if taking his chance later this month.

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