Golden Horn camp on King George rain alert

John Gosden will wait until this morning before deciding whether to let Golden Horn run in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes after heavy rain at Ascot saw conditions significantly deteriorate on the eve of the famous race.

Golden Horn camp on King George rain alert

The brilliant three-year-old has unsurprisingly been all the rage to continue his scintillating summer in Berkshire following stunning displays in the Investec Derby and the Coral-Eclipse, but the inclement weather could yet scupper his participation.

Racing at Ascot on Friday commenced on going officially described as good to firm, but gradually worsened as the rain persisted during the afternoon. Even discounting underfoot conditions, the Clarehaven handler feels Golden Horn has plenty on his plate as he bids to win his third Group One in seven weeks.

“I think he showed in the Eclipse that he’s grown up and he showed a good deal of maturity,” Gosden said.

“He’s a very good horse, but in every sense he’s still a young boy. He’s the equivalent of an 18-year-old kid, to that extent.

“We’re asking him major questions at a young age. If he gets beaten on Saturday, that’s life.

“It is exciting to have a horse of his quality in the race. We are looking forward to see him coming here,taking on the older horses over a mile and a half - it’s what will bring excitement to the race.”

Assessing the opposition, Gosden said: “I think you have got to take the Hardwicke Stakes winner Snow Sky as a danger as he also won the Yorkshire Cup in great style.

“He sets a good standard and although our jockey (Dettori on Eagle Top) got into an argument in behind, Snow Sky quickened well off the lead.

“Flintshire is a model of consistency with top form. He is a very smart horse. Take nothing away from Postponed either, while Eagle Top is in the form of his life right now.”

Golden Horn’s owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer has also spoken about ground concerns for his pride and joy.

He said: “I think one’s always nervous before a race like this and especially when there is some rain around.

“The horse came out of the Eclipse very well and is such a tough horse now. John Gosden has done a tremendous job with him.

Golden Horn showed his versatility at Sandown three weeks ago, dominating proceedings from the start under Frankie Dettori.

Oppenheimer is hopeful this weekend’s assignment will not turn into such a tactical affair, should he take his chance.

“I don’t think anybody knows what is going to happen, but hopefully it will be easier (tactically) than Sandown,” he said.

“There are more runners and hopefully there will be more room to manoeuvre, but we’ll just have to see what happens on the day.

“It would be very nice if he can do it.”

Golden Horn has been the star of a fantastic year for the resurgent Dettori.

The popular Italian hopes the fairytale continues this weekend.

He said: “I rode him last week. He’s in good shape and it’s all systems go.

“It should be a smashing race. With a good horse like that it’s very special and I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can. These horses aren’t around forever, so I’ve got to make the most of it.”

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