Enable storms to Oaks glory
Enable storms to Oaks glory

South American star Sixties Song going for Ascot glory

Last year's winner Highland Reel and Argentinian superstar Sixties Song feature among 42 entries unveiled on Wednesday for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO), worth £1.15 million and staged over a mile and a half at Ascot on July 29.

First run in 1951, the highly-prestigious British Champions Series contest offers the first chance for three-year-olds and older horses to take each other on over a mile and a half in Group One company.

There are 16 three-year-olds among the 2017 entries, headed by the winners of the two 12-furlong Epsom Downs Classics, Wings Of Eagles (Investec Derby) and Enable (Investec Oaks). 

Highland Reel, one of 11 entries for Ireland's champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien, could attempt to become only the third horse to win the race twice (following Dahlia (1973 & 1974) & Swain (1997 & 1998)), following his length and a quarter victory over Wings Of Desire in 2016. 

The five-year-old son of Galileo subsequently landed the Breeders' Cup Turf and looked as good as ever last time out at Epsom Downs on June 2, when defeating the Godolphin pair of Frontiersman and Hawkbill in the Investec Coronation Cup. 

O'Brien, who has sent out four King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) winners, has 11 entries in total. They are split into six three-year-olds and five older horses. The former group includes the first two home in the Investec Derby, Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher, plus Investec Oaks runner-up and third, Rhododendron and Alluringly. His older horses include last year's Gold Cup winner Order Of St George.

However this year's race has a different attraction in the shape of Sixties Song, a dual Group One winner in South America and the winner of the continent's premier all-aged 12-furlong contest, the Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano over a mile and a half on turf at Valparaiso, Chile, in March.

Trainer Alfredo Gaitan, who walked the course at Ascot on Tuesday, commented: "I may not have travelled the world, but I have been to Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, yet I have never been to a racecourse like Ascot. It is incredible, absolutely amazing. 

"We walked the track on Tuesday morning and Chris (Stickels - Clerk of the Course) said it was good ground. That would be perfect for us on King George day. 

"The track is beautiful, but obviously it is a very undulating track, which is a bit of a worry, if only because our horse has not really encountered it. 

"However, we do know that we have a good horse and we hope he can show it when he comes over. I don't really know the opposition, even though I have watched the Derby, so I have seen Wings of Eagles and Cracksman.

"This is a great opportunity and a real honour and we are grateful to everyone who has made this possible. No horse from South America has ever attempted to come over and run in a race like this and we are all very excited. It is something unique and very special."

Race entries:

Horse                                     Age     Owner Trainer

ACROSS THE STARS (IRE) 4 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute  

ALGOMETER 4 Kirsten Rausing David Simcock  

ALLURINGLY (USA) 3 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE

BENBATL 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor  

BEST OF DAYS 3 Godolphin Hugo Palmer  

BEST SOLUTION (IRE) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor  

CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE

COUNTERMEASURE 5 Khalid Abdullah Roger Charlton  

CRACKSMAN 3 Anthony Oppenheimer John Gosden  

DARTMOUTH 5 The Queen Sir Michael Stoute  

DESERT ENCOUNTER (IRE) 5 Abdulla Al Mansoori David Simcock  

DOUGLAS MACARTHUR (IRE) 3 Markus Jooste/Sue Magnier/Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith Aidan O'Brien IRE

EMINENT (IRE) 3 Sir Peter Vela Martyn Meade  

ENABLE 3 Khalid Abdullah John Gosden  

ERUPT (IRE) 5 Niarchos Family Francis-Henri Graffard FR

FRONTIERSMAN 4 Godolphin Charlie Appleby  

HAWKBILL (USA) 4 Godolphin Charlie Appleby  

HIGHLAND REEL (IRE) 5 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE

IDAHO (IRE) 4 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE

JACK HOBBS 5 Godolphin & Partners John Gosden  

JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) 4 Tabor/Smith/Magnier/China Horse Club Aidan O'Brien IRE

JOURNEY 5 George Strawbridge John Gosden  

KHALIDI 3 Nizar Anwar John Gosden  

MAVERICK WAVE (USA) 6 Godolphin John Gosden  

MIDTERM 4 Khalid Abdullah Sir Michael Stoute  

MY DREAM BOAT (IRE) 5 Paul & Clare Rooney Clive Cox  

ORDER OF ST GEORGE (IRE) 5 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Lloyd Williams Aidan O'Brien IRE

PERMIAN (IRE) 3 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston  

POET'S WORD (IRE) 4 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute  

QUEEN'S TRUST 4 Cheveley Park Stud Sir Michael Stoute  

RACING HISTORY (IRE) 5 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor  

RHODODENDRON (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier,Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O'Brien IRE

SALOUEN (IRE) 3 H Balasuriya Sylvester Kirk  

SIR JOHN LAVERY (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE

SIXTIES SONG (ARG) 4 Haras Santa Elena Alfredo Gaitan Dassie ARG

STELLAR MASS (IRE) 4 Mrs June Judd Jim Bolger IRE

THUNDER SNOW (IRE) 3 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor  

TIBERIAN (FR) 5 Haras Du Logis/H Volz/S Falk Alain Couetil FR

ULYSSES (IRE) 4 Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd Sir Michael Stoute  

US ARMY RANGER (IRE) 4 Sue Magnier,Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O'Brien IRE

WINGS OF DESIRE 4 Lady Bamford John Gosden  

WINGS OF EAGLES (FR) 3 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O'Brien IRE

Like what you've read?

Next Off

Sporting Life
My Stable
Follow and track your favourite Horses, Jockeys and Trainers. Never miss a race with automated alerts.
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Click HERE for more information

Most Followed


We are committed to Safer Gambling and have a number of self-help tools to help you manage your gambling. We also work with a number of independent charitable organisations who can offer help and answers any questions you may have.
Gamble Aware LogoGamble Helpline LogoGamstop LogoGordon Moody LogoSafer Gambling Standard LogoGamban Logo18+ LogoTake Time To Think Logo