The master of Freemason Lodge has previously struck gold in the summer showpiece with Shergar (1981), Opera House (1993) and Golan (2002), and this year the trainer has three strings to his bow.
Topping the bill is last year year’s St Leger and Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Conduit and he is set to be joined by stablemate Tartan Bearer, second in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last time, and Coronation Cup winner Ask.
Aidan O’Brien is searching for a third consecutive success in the Group One heat following victories for Dylan Thomas and Duke Of Marmalade but Sky Bet’s Matthew Doyle expects the Stoute team to prevent the hat-trick.
“The latest renewal is not the strongest we have ever seen and Sir Michael Stoute is long odds-on with us to stop Aidan O’Brien landing a third consecutive King George,” said Doyle.
Both Conduit and Tartan Bearer are owned by Ballymacoll Stud and while no final decision will be made until later in the week, racing manager Peter Reynolds expects champion jockey Ryan Moore to partner the former.
“A final decision hasn’t been made but it looks as though Ryan is going to stick with Conduit and Mick Kinane will ride the other horse, Tartan Bearer,” said Reynolds.
“It’s not absolutely cast in stone and Ryan can change his mind at the last minute, but that’s the way it is at the moment.
“It’s Ryan’s call at the end of the day as he’s the stable jockey. I spoke to Sir Michael (Stoute) after they worked on Saturday and he was happy with both horses.
“They are both stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time this year so it’s going to be interesting.
“I suppose it’s better going there with two good chances rather than one and we are hoping for the very best.”
Ask is set to be ridden by French jockey Olivier Peslier.
O’Brien has left in Frozen Fire, Freemantle, Golden Sword and Rockhampton, while Luca Cumani’s Cima De Triomphe, Scintillo, Alwaary and Look Here complete the field.
The latter’s trainer Ralph Beckett is delighted with the filly’s current condition but is keeping his fingers crossed there is not too much rain at Ascot this week.
“She is fine, in good nick, and has gone well since the Pretty Polly. I would think that the way the race will be run, the distance and the track will all suit her,” said Beckett.
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Paddy Power bet: 7-4 Conduit, 7-2 Tartan Bearer, 5-1 Golden Sword, 13-2 Look Here, 11-1 Ask, 12-1 Cima De Triomphe, Frozen Fire, 20-1 Alwaary, 40-1 Scintillo, 50-1 Freemantle, 150-1 Rockhampton.
Coral bet: 2-1 Conduit, 10-3 Tartan Bearer, 4-1 Golden Sword, 7-1 Look Here, 11-1 Ask, Cima De Triomphe, 12-1 Frozen Fire, 16-1 Alwaary, 40-1 Freemantle, 50-1 Scintillo, 200-1 Rockhampton.
Cashmans bet: 2 Conduit, 4 Tartan Bearer, Golden Sword, 7 Look Here, 12 Cima De Triomphe, Ask, 16 Frozen Fire, 20 Alwaary, Fremantle, 33 Scintillo, 200 Rockhampton