The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
What You Need to Know
- Also known simply as the 'King George', the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race held at Ascot. The 2015 King George will be run on the 25th of July.
- The race is the second biggest in British racing in terms of prize money, with a prize pool of more than £1.15 million on offer. Golden Horn is the odds-on favourite to win and give trainer John Gosden his second consecutive victory in the big race
- Further adding to the prestige is the fact that the race is now part of the global Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, meaning the winner automatically wins a place in the same year's Breeders' Cup Turf.
- As you might expect, the King George attracts huge crowds to Ascot and has a massive global TV audience. It's also a big hit with sports betting fans, not least due to the fact there's always an open and varied field, adding to the excitement.
- Getting to Ascot Racecourse is simple and straightforward, especially from London. You should, however, try and book tickets well in advance, especially if you want seats in the best enclosures.
- If you want to have a bet on the action, it's best to open an online sports betting account as this way you will be able to enjoy the widest selection of odds.
- Be wary of betting on young fillies, who struggle to do well in the King George, but do consider betting on this and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as a double.
A Quick Overview
Also known as simply the 'King George', the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race taking place at Ascot each July. This race should not be confused with the King George VI Chase, which is held at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Despite only being established in 1951, the race is now one of the most prestigious in all of Europe. Horses aged three years and up compete for the second-biggest prize purse in British racing, and huge crowds flock to Ascot to watch the action.
As you would expect, the King George is also a big hit with sports betting fans, especially now that online betting means it's incredibly easy to have a flutter on the action from the comfort of your own home or work desk.
History of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a relative newcomer to the British racing calendar, having only been established in 1951.
The race was created through the merging of two separate events, namely the King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth races, both of which took place at Ascot. This was done with the aim of establishing a major international race open to all horses aged three years or over at the famous course. Unsurprisingly, the race was a huge success from the start, attracting the very best trainers and owners and quickly establishing itself as one of the most prestigious events in Europe.
Little has changed since 1951, though in recent years the race has attracted commercial sponsors. The race is currently sponsored by Betfair, meaning its official title is the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The Race Today
These days, the King George is one of the best-loved of all British races. What's more, it's also part of the global Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, meaning the winner automatically wins a place in the same year's Breeders' Cup Turf.
The race is scheduled to take place at Ascot each July and sees an open field of horses aged three years or over tackle a right-handed turf courses precisely 1 mile and 4 furlongs in length. A prize purse of more than £1 million is up for grabs, with the winner taking home around £600,000.
Huge crowds always head to Ascot to watch the race, with celebrities and even royalty usually in attendance. The King George is also massively popular with sports betting fans, prompting a flurry of bets right around the world.
The 2015 King George: All the Runners and the Latest Odds
As always, the 2015 King George will feature some of the finest flat racers in the whole of Europe, with a number of them in with a genuine shot of winning outright and claiming the huge top prize.
The 2015 race will feature a field of 16 runners. The big favourite in 2015 is Golden Horn. Trained by John Godsen, he travels to Ascot with five consecutive wins to his name, including victories in the Investec Derby and the Betfred Dante races. Notably, Godsen saddled last year's winner Taghrooda, and he also trained the 2-11 champion Nathaniel, so he knows what it takes to win this Group 1 event.
Also in the running in 2015 is another horse from Godsen's stables. Eagle Top finished fourth in 2014 and has an excellent record on the Ascot turf, most notably winning the King Edward VII last year.
Among the outside bets in 2015 are Qualify, one of the two fillies representing champion trainer Aidan O'Brien. His horse Diamondsandrubies, who made a name for herself in the recent Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, is also a long shot but potentially worth a look.
Below are the latest odds offered by the bookies. Remember that you are able to bet on a horse placing (that is, finishing in the top three), though you will get shorter odds and so smaller potential winnings. Also, remember that the odds may fluctuate as the race gets nearer, so be sure to pick the right time to put your money down.
- Golden Horn 4/6
- Snow Sky 5/1
- Eagle Top 7/1
- Flintshire 9/1
- Postponed 9/1
- Telescope 11/1
- Dolniya 12/1
- Karpino 12/1
- Dylan Mouth 20/1
- Mahsoob 20/1
- Hillstar 25/1
- Romsdal 25/1
- The Corsican 25/1
- Diamondsandrubies 25/1
- Qualify 25/1
- Madame Chiang 33/1
- Clever Cookie 40/1
Getting to the Race
Whether you're travelling by car or by public transport, getting to Ascot to see the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes for yourself is straightforward. Given the popularity of the race, you should definitely try and buy your tickets as far in advance as possible, especially if you want to watch the action from one of the better enclosures. So, how do you get to Ascot?
- If you're travelling by car, then you will find Ascot Racecourse just off Junction 6 of the M4. After turning off here, follow the A332 towards Windsor and you will then see plenty of clear signs for the racecourse.
- Alternatively, by train, you can catch a train directly to Ascot station from Reading and London Waterloo. From Ascot station is just a short walk and is well sign-posted. Plenty of taxis are also on hand during major meets, including the day of the King George Stakes.
For more information on getting to Ascot to see the King George action in person, check out the official website, where you can also find information about getting to the course by coach or even by helicopter. Here you will also find more information about getting tickets to Royal Ascot.
If you are planning on visiting Ascot to watch the race live, be sure to read up on the dress code. Some enclosures require you to war formal dress, though in the cheaper enclosures, the rules are much more relaxed.
Betting on the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Aside from the Grand National, the King George is arguably the best race to have a bet on, regardless of whether you're a sports betting novice or a veteran. The huge cash prize on offer ensure that it always attracts the very best horses and riders, plus the fact it's open to horses aged three years or older (rather than being restricted to just fillies or geldings, for example) means it attracts a varied and open field.
To enjoy the widest selection of bets and to take advantage of the most-competitive odds, you should open an online sports betting account and bet on the King George from the comfort of your own home. Check out this guide to the very best online sports betting sites and find the best account for you.
If you want to stand the best chance of beating the bookies, then you should read up on the history of the race, study the form book and use this information to make an informed bet. Some things to bear in mind before putting down any money include:
- Many King George winners go on to compete in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, so think about putting a double bet on both these big events.
- But maybe think twice before putting money on a young fillie. When Taghrooda raced to victory in 2014, she was the first three-year-old fillie to win the event since 1976!
- The firm favourites don't always win. In fact, outside shots priced at 9/1 or longer have a fine history of winning the King George, so consider history as well as past form when making your bet.
Facts and Records
As befits such a prestigious race, the King George has a rich and fascinating history, with nearly all of the biggest names in British and European racing having competed in the event over the years. Here are just a few facts from the colourful history of the famous race:
- No jockey has ridden more King George winners than Lestor Piggott. The racing legend won seven times between 1965 and 1984.
- Just two horses have won the big race more than once. Both Dahlia (1973 and 1974) and Swain (1997 and 1998) have won the King George twice.
- Meanwhile, three trainers share the record for training the most King George winners: Dick Hern, Saeed bin Surorr and, most recently, Sir Michael Stoute all trained three winners.
- The 1975 King George is often called 'the race of the century'. This was the year that two all-time greats, Grundy and Bustino, were neck-and-neck for almost all of the race, with Grundy finally winning in dramatic fashion.
- The race is now the second-richest event in British racing. Only the Epsom Derby offers a bigger purse and cash prize for the winner.
- The King George has been held at Ascot every year since its inception, with the notable exception of 2006, when it was run at Newbury.
- Nothing beats watching the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in person. Visit the official Ascot Racecourse website and start planning your day at the races.
- Betting on big races can be a great way to make some extra money, but only if you know what you're doing. Read this comprehensive guide to betting on horses before you start gambling.
- Have a look at our guide to Royal Ascot which takes place in June or read about some of the other famous races at this meeting such as the Ascot Gold Cup, the Royal Hunt Cup, and the Queen's Vase.
- If you fancy a flutter on a daily basis then check out our daily horse racing page, with all todays runners, and odds for you.