Horse Racing

King George Weekend Ascot 2023 Predictions and Betting Tips

It seems like only yesterday that the horse racing world was gearing up for Royal Ascot. Blink and you’ll have missed that particular bonanza, but we’re once again back at the Berkshire venue this weekend. It’s now time for the King George meeting, which will take place at Ascot Racecourse on Friday and Saturday.

Ascot Tips
Photo by Icon Sport.

The two day meeting will see lots of high-quality flat racing take place, with no shortage of top-drawer group races, plus a very healthy selection of competitive handicaps. Ahead of Friday and Saturday’s racing, let’s see if we can pinpoint a few nice winners. At the very least, below are a few bets that appear to represent some value for money in the early betting.

Betting Tips for Friday 28th July

2.25 – John Guest Racing Brown Jack Handicap: Tamilla (each-way) @ 10/1

Kicking things off at Ascot, we have a stamina-sapping Class 3 handicap race set to be run over two miles. With the ground likely to be close to soft, perhaps even the heavier side of soft if more rain falls, this is certainly going to tap into a horse’s staying power.

King Eagle is well fancied in the early betting after getting up late in the day to win at Newmarket last time out. The gelding is lightly raced, while this extra distance is likely to suit, though he’s up in class here and is no sure thing to land the hat-trick. Early quotes of 7/4 look on the skinny side, to be honest.

Tamilla disappointed at Ascot a few weeks ago, but it’s easy to feel that she’s much more suited to this sort of long-distance trip. She was outpaced over one mile and four furlongs, but now going back up in distance, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her feature much more prominently at the death. After all, her best performance was over one mile and six furlongs when she finished a close-up fourth in Class 2 company at Haydock. Not only was that a race that contained more quality in depth than this, but she shaped as though two miles would be right up her street on that occasion.

3.00 – Chapel Down Handicap: Global Esteem (each-way) @ 9/1

In the the third race on Friday, 13 are due to go to post for what ought to be an exciting little contest, a competitive one too. Mobashr in the hands of Ryan Moore is the early favourite and is likely to well be supported having hinted that this step up in trip would suit when finishing third at Yarmouth last time out.

However, at bigger odds, there’s plenty to like about Global Esteem for my money. John Gallagher’s runner put in a decent performance over a mile at this venue last time out, shaping as though he probably is best suited by just the seven furlongs, so the slight drop back in trip bodes well. Some of his seven furlong form from last season certainly bodes well. Last August, he was a solid third over course and distance from 5lbs higher in the weights, running in a better class of race, while the gelding won a seven-furlong Class 4 event at Sandown later the same month, again from a higher handicap mark. On that evidence, he’s starting to look well handicapped, so don’t be surprised if he goes well here in a first-time visor.

3.35 – John Guest Racing Handicap: Oneforthegutter (each-way) @ 13/2

There are plenty in with chances ahead of the John Guest Racing Handicap, a Class 2 handicap over one mile and four furlongs. Gaasee may well be up to bouncing back for the William Haggas team, while Youthful King, who has won two of his last three races, is also in with a shout.

The one for me here, though, is Oneforthegutter, who came home in front over course and distance last time out. That form is hard to ignore. Crucially, he improved for the softening ground on that occasion, which bodes well, while if we look at the race, his competition was probably stiffer on that occasion. Sure, he’ll carry more weight here, but not bags more, while first-time cheek pieces could help him to maintain his forward momentum. The booking of William Buick, who rides Ascot as well as anyone, is another sizable positive. It will surprise me if the gelding doesn’t throw down a bold challenge in his bid for a double. What will surprise me even more is if he fails to be well supported and doesn’t go off at odds shorter than 13/2.

Betting Tips for Saturday 29th July

15:00 Moet & Chandon International Stakes: Bopedro (each-way) @ 25/1

No less than 27 runners are set to go to post for the renewal of this race, which will of course be a commentators nightmare. Punters don’t have an easy task on their hands here either, as a case could somewhat easily be made for at least half the field.

At the prices, one who stands out as an easy each-way bet for my money is Bopedro, who was mightily unfortunate at Newmarket last weekend. But for trouble in running, he would’ve won that contest, which was far from a weak race. He didn’t, and that may turn out for the best, as he’s far from without a chance of going close in this much more valuable race.

David O’Meara’s horse has won at this level before, he doesn’t mind softer ground, while he has plenty of big-field experience. Moreover, at Royal Ascot, he ran a blinder from 1lb higher in the handicap, running on from too far off the pace to grab sixth (of 29) in the Buckingham Palace Stakes. If he can get better positioned under the ever impressive Hollie Doyle here, then I see little reason as to why he cannot run well. To my eyes, 25/1 looks on the generous side and is worth taking, especially with six places on offer.

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