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Novellist Aiming for Another German Fairytale in King George
Following the historic success of Danedream 12 months ago, there is another strong German challenge for the £1-million King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Betfair) with Novellist on course for the midsummer highlight at Ascot on Saturday, July 27.
The Andreas Wohler-trained four-year-old has been successful in seven of his nine starts and gained a second Group One victory decisively under Ryan Moore in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at Saint Cloud, France, on June 23.
He is a 6/1 chance with Betfair Sportsbook to become the second German-trained winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Betfair).
Wohler reported: "Novellist is on target for the King George. He came out of Saint-Cloud really well and is in good form.
"We have always believed in the horse and he is proving it now. He has to improve a bit further to win at Ascot but he will head there in great shape.
"We have used a pacemaker for Novellist in the past because he needs a strongly-run race but he won't have one at Ascot because we think that there will be a good pace.
"There's no rain forecast ahead of next week and faster ground would be a slight concern for Novellist, but he is a very nice mover and should be fine on good to firm going.
"We would be happy to have Ryan Moore on board again and it looks like he will be available.
"The King George is the summer Arc and a very important race in the worldwide calendar. The statistics would say that it is not possible but it would be a dream to have back-to-back German winners of the contest."
Six-time Group One winner St Nicholas Abbey is 2/1 favourite with Betfair Sportsbook for the Group One mile and a half contest and the Aidan O'Brien-trained six-year-old heads to Ascot on the back of a record-breaking third victory in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs on June 1.
Cirrus Des Aigles (5/2), the world's highest rated horse coming into 2013, could only finish fifth behind Novellist on his seasonal return at Saint-Cloud, but Corine Barande-Barbe's stable star boasts a superb record at Ascot having captured the QIPCO Champion Stakes in 2011 and chased home Frankel in the same race last year.
The Classic crop is set to be represented by the Jim Bolger-trained Irish Derby victor Trading Leather (6/1), while Ektihaam (8/1) could return to Ascot after slipping up in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting.
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes - Betfair Sportsbook:
2/1 St Nicholas Abbey, 5/2 Cirrus Des Aigles, 6/1 Trading Leather, Novellist, 8/1 Ektihaam, 25/1 bar.
Each way 1/4 the odds first 3 places
About The Betfair Weekend
The Betfair Weekend at Ascot takes place from Friday, July 26, through to Sunday, July 28. The highlight is the £1-million Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Betfair) which is Britain's top all-aged 12-furlong contest, run over a mile and a half on the Saturday.
Premier admission ticket prices start from £20.70 for Friday, £45 for Saturday and £27 for Sunday. Only a handful of Premier admission tickets for Saturday remain available.
Grandstand admission ticket prices start from £11.70 for Friday, £24.30 for Saturday and £18 for Sunday.
Tickets are available online at www.ascot.co.uk or by telephoning 01344 878536.