The 2020 King George Qatar Stakes is the highlight of the fourth day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival (Friday 30 July) and this Group 2 race takes place over one of the fastest 5-furlongs in Britain. The last three editions of the King George Qatar Stakes have been won by Battaash and he returns to try and make it four.
Battaash faces just six rivals, which is the smallest field since the race began. Ornate looks the weakest of the sextet, having failed to win a handicap off a mark of 97 last time. That leaves him with 29lb to find with Battaash and he won’t be winning.
Dubai Station also looks up against it after a couple of defeats over 6-furlongs. He did win over 5-furlongs as a 2-year-old, but his future could be as an all-weather sprinter judged on his win at Newcastle on his seasonal debut.
Al Raya is a new challenger for Battaash, but he has already been beaten by two of today’s rivals and the 3-year-old needs to take a significant step forward after being beaten in a Listed race last time.
Al Raya was getting 9lb from Ken Colt when the French raider beat him two-lengths in a Listed race at Chantilly. But he was racing off level-weights when beaten four-lengths by Liberty Beach as a 2-year-old. As Liberty Beach gets 7lb from Ken Colt in this race, Liberty Beach should come out on top. John Quinn’s 3-year-old also won at last year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival, so has proven he likes the course.
Liberty Beach was also getting 9lb when beaten over 2-lengths by Battaash at Royal Ascot and, though the Group 1 penalty that Battaash has to carry means he’s 3lb better off here, that shouldn’t be enough for him to turn the tables.
One horse that does boast a victory over Battaash is Glass Slippers but that came on very soft ground in France last year that he relished and Battaash hated. He finished behind Battaash and Liberty Beach at Royal Ascot and is fancied to do so again on the prevailing quicker ground.
Battaash must be the King George Qatar Stakes tip, as he’s simply head and shoulders above the opposition. Having also proven unbeatable at Goodwood, it will be a wheelbarrow job for many big hitters, even at short odds.
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