Tartan has six appeal for Kinane

MICK Kinane believes Tartan Bearer has solid claims of providing him with a sixth success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot today.

The 50-year-old jockey has a fantastic record in the historic contest, hitting the mark with Belmez (1990), King’s Theatre (1994), Montjeu (2000), Galileo (2001) and Azamour (2005).

This year he gets the leg-up on Sir Michael Stoute’s apparent second-string, with stable jockey Ryan Moore having sided with Conduit.

Tartan Bearer’s form is hardly second rate, however.

Beaten just half a length by New Approach in last year’s Epsom Derby, the chestnut went down by the same margin in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.

“It’s a good ride to pick up and although I haven’t ridden the horse yet, he seems pretty straightforward,” said Kinane.

“He looks a very genuine type of horse and is very consistent. It’s a race that has been good to me, having won it five times, and six would be nice.

“I’ve obviously seen Tartan Bearer race and he has to be there with a good chance as there doesn’t seem to be a lot between them.

“Whichever horse gets the run of the race, it could swing their way.

“I’d say it will be doubtful he’ll win it like Montjeu did, but it would be nice if he could.

“It’s always a great race and it’s a great occasion so it’s just nice to be part of it.”

Moore went for Conduit, who provided him with a Breeders’ Cup win last October, but also holds Tartan Bearer and Stoute’s other runner, Ask, in the highest regard.

“Conduit had a small problem early on and he has been brought along gradually,” said Moore.

“The King George was always his midsummer aim and I hope he can carry on improving from the summer, as he did last year, to reach his peak in the autumn.

“I’ve always loved Ask and I always believed he had the potential to win a big race. He has now won a Coronation Cup.

“The race didn’t pan out for Tartan Bearer last time.

“They went very steady and then I had a 100-1 chance on my inner and I couldn’t get rid of him.

“They are three very good horses, all are fit, healthy and looking very well. They should all run big races.”

Ralph Beckett feels Look Here is ready to give her all as she bids to become the first filly since Time Charter in 1983 to take King George glory.

Beckett said: “I think it’s safe to assume she’ll run her race. Whether that is enough is another thing entirely.

“This is what you train horses for – to have runners in Group Ones – and it’s great to have the opportunity.”

Johnny Murtagh goes in search of his third successive win in the race on Golden Sword, having ridden Dylan Thomas and Duke Of Marmalade to land the last two renewals.

“I’m looking forward to it and it will be interesting to see how he runs against the older horses for the first time,” said Murtagh.

“He’s been running well in all the top races and is a horse who is improving all the time.

“I rode him in work last week and he is definitely going the right way.”

Connections of Alwaary are keen to find out if he is up to competing at the highest level after he finished a luckless second in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “He ran a very good race at Newmarket last time, so we have to assume he would have won if things had panned out a bit differently.

“That’s what Richard Hills felt very much and I wouldn’t disagree.

“Had he won nicely by a length and a half, we would certainly be looking at this. He had a bit of bad luck that day.

“It’s a big jump up taking on those good older horses, the best of them around.

“It’s a big ask, but he’s in good form – he stays and he’s got a good turn of foot – so we’ll see if he’s up to it.”

Richard Hannon admits Scintillo has plenty on his plate after finishing down the field in France on his latest outing.

“Scintillo found the company a bit hot in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud last time, and this looks even hotter,” the trainer told his website, www.richardhannonracing.tv.

“But the horse is in good form and he owes us nothing.

“I’d be absolutely delighted if he could finish in the first four.”

King George: Cashmans bet - 6/4 Conduit, 4 Tartan Bearer, Golden Sword, 7 Look Here, 12 Ask, 14 Alwaary, 16 Frozen Fire, 50 Scintillo, 250 Rockhampton

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