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2018 King George Stakes tips - Goodwood sprint king to retain his crown

Jim Crowley looks round for dangers as Battaash (L, blue/ white) cruises to victory in last year's King George.

Our expert looks through the ante-post betting for the Group Two feature on day four of Glorious Goodwood and provides readers with his tips on Friday 3rd August.

The fourth day of Glorious Goodwood may not feature a Group One contest, but the King George Stakes is one of the most exhilarating races of the entire week. A top-quality field of sprinters will enter the stalls on Friday afternoon, all hoping to join the likes of Lochsong, Kingsgate Native and Borderlescott on the illustrious roll of honour.

Our expert has taken a look through the betting for this year’s King George Stakes and offered his betting suggestions.

3/8/18 3:35pm King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2) 5f

Leading the way in the betting for this year’s race is Battaash (5/4 Coral), who will be trying to emulate the likes of Right Boy and Tetratema by retaining the King George crown he won so brilliantly last year. After ending his three-year-old campaign with a sparkling victory in the Abbaye, Charlie Hills’ charge recovered from a shocking start to win the Temple Stakes on his reappearance, before venturing to Royal Ascot.

Battaash’s only previous outing at Ascot ended in defeat and the short-priced favourite was made to suffer in Berkshire once again, with Blue Point swooping late in the day to beat Hills’ stable star to the King’s Stand Stakes. Second, in that illustrious race, isn’t a terrible result and Jim Crowley will fancy his favourite mount's chances, given a favourable draw.

It looked for a long while like Kachy (7/1 Paddy Power) was going to lower Battaash’s colours in the Temple Stakes, but sadly, Tom Dascombe’s top sprinter faded as the favourite rallied and he could only finish a neck third. Dascombe’s five-year-old was handed a career-high rating of 113 after an emphatic victory at Chester, but Kachy has always come up short when pitched into this kind of company.

With most eyes on Mabs Cross, Caspian Prince and Washington DC, few expected Havana Grey (8/1 Ladbrokes) to pull up any trees at the Curragh. A talented two-year-old, Karl Burke had watched his sprinter struggle on his first two starts in 2018, but Molecomb Stakes winner bounced back to top form in excellent style to win the Group Two Sapphire Stakes by over a length.

Last year’s runaway Queen Anne Stakes winner, Heartache (16/1 William Hill) got the better of Havana Grey when they clashed in the Flying Childers Stakes on their final juvenile start. Like her Goodwood rival, Clive Cox’s filly has struggled to assert herself during her three-year-old season, but Heartache produced a much-improved display to pass the post less than three lengths behind the winner in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot.

Havana Grey (right) beating Invincible Army (left) to the Sapphire Molecomb Stakes crown at Glorious Goodwood last year.

Washington DC is likely to make the trip to Goodwood once again, but Aidan O’Brien’s stable could be lead by two of his runners from last month’s July Cup. As US Navy Flag sealed an excellent victory, Fleet Review managed to carry odds of 50/1 into the places, with Sioux Nation (9/1 Paddy Power) bouncing back from his shocker of a run in the Commonwealth Cup by clambering up the rail to snatch fifth.

Sioux Nation's form has been pretty patchy throughout his short career and a draw out in stall ten isn't the most favourable. Yet, Aidan O'Brien's sprinter is a Group One winner, with experience winning at a big Festival and he shouldn't be overlooked.

Muthmir (16/1 Ladbrokes) claimed an overdue victory in the Achilles Stakes at the start of the summer and has run well to place twice since. Poor starts cost William Haggas’ eight-year-old the chance to win at Sandown and York, and another sluggish beginning at Goodwood would ensure he finishes out of the picture.

Two-time King George winner, Take Cover (20/1 William Hill) could be given another crack at this Group Two, but recent results suggest David Griffith’s teenager may finally be feeling his age. Stone Of Destiny (20/1 Paddy Power) ran a blinder to finish fourth in the Commonwealth Cup, but the form of that Group One looks so poor, I find myself swerving any of its entrants when they reappear on the track.

Havana Grey deserves a second crack at a Group Two after his excellent victory at the Curragh and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Karl Burke’s sprinter backed into second-favouritsm. Kachy has the potential to spring a surprise and Sioux Nation offers each-way value, but the one they all have to beat is BATTAASH.

Jim Crowley may have been kicking himself at Ascot. He and Battaash hit the front much earlier than anyone had expected and it was no surprise to see Blue Point pick off the one-paced leader. However, Battaash is quite unruly – as sprinters go – and I’m sure Crowley did as much as he could to keep to the original game plan.

Battaash is a sprinter of Group One quality, arguably the only entrant in the race who could back up such a claim. Charlie Hills' star has been drawn in stall one - the same gate he broke from when winning last season - with fast-starting veteran, Take Cover placed on his immediate inside to give Battaash a nice toe into the race. Any price better than evens should be snapped up.

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2018 King George Stakes tips - Goodwood sprint king to retain his crown

Our expert looks through the ante-post betting for the Group Two feature on day four of Glorious Goodwood and provides readers with his tips on Friday 3rd August.

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