Anthony Van Dyck Joins King George Roster

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Anthony Van Dyck Joins King George Roster

Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck has joined a star-studded edition of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot this weekend.

The son of Galileo will fly the flag for the three-year-old's as he steps foot into unknown company for the first time in his career, when he competes against a wall of four-year-olds and higher.

Standing in his way is none other than dual Arc heroine Enable - who returned in grand style in this month's Coral Eclipse, along with Prince Of Wales scorer Crystal Ocean.

Anthony Van Dyck prevailed in one of the closest bunch finishes in the Epsom Classic in it's history, but could not reel in stablemate Sovereign when searching for the double in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.

No winner of Britain's premier classic has run in the King George as a three-year-old since Workforce was a beaten odds-on favourite behind Harbinger in 2010, but Aidan O'Brien revealed his stablestar is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

(Credit: Racing Post) O'Brien said: "The plan is to run Anthony Van Dyck on Saturday – we're happy with him.

"Sovereign, who won the Irish Derby, is on a break and won't be running and neither will Magical, who is also on a break.

"Hunting Horn, Magic Wand and Norway are all entered and are possible runners, although we won't be finalising plans until later in the week."

The inclusion of John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute's stars [Enable, Crystal Ocean] had already ensured it would be one of the best editions of the illustrious mid-summer Group One over a mile-and-a-half.

Essentially an English Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the presence of one of the leading performers from the 2019 Classic generation has certainly added extra favour and zest, which has course officials believing this year's renewal could be the race of the season.

Nick Smith - Ascot's director of racing and communications said: "I don't think we could possibly be more pleased with the race. It's hard to imagine there will be a stronger race run in Britain, if not in Europe, this season.

"The King George is a great race for a summer showdown and I can't remember a race of this degree in some time. 

"It's great for racing. In a golden summer of sport it would be wonderful if racing can play its part through this race.

"It's pretty unprecedented. I think it feels a bit like when Swain won his second race in 1998, where there is strength in depth and everything who can run is running."

Anthony Van Dyck is best priced at 15/2 with William Hill to take first prize-honours.

Enable meanwhile is a short 4/6 favourite, and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori after he elected to ride the mare to search for his ninth Group One in the space of two months.

James Doyle has picked up the spare mount on Crystal Ocean.

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