Westover tops super six hunting King George crown

Westover, Emily Upjohn and Mishriff have all stood their ground for a fascinating renewal of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The Ralph Beckett-trained Westover is a hot favourite for the midsummer highlight following his demolition job in the Irish Derby last month, but is unlikely to have things all his own way under Colin Keane, with John and Thady Gosden firing a formidable two-pronged assault.

Emily Upjohn was due to contest last weekend’s Irish Oaks following her narrow defeat in the Oaks at Epsom, but travel problems meant she missed out on a trip to the Curragh.

As a result, Frankie Dettori’s mount joins her illustrious stablemate Mishriff, who was second to Adayar in last year’s King George and proved he is as good as ever when touched off by Vadeni in the Eclipse three weeks ago.

James Doyle partners Mishriff for the first time, replacing owner Prince Faisal’s former retained rider David Egan.

German raider Torquator Tasso, a shock winner of last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, adds international spice to the six-strong field.

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Torquator Tasso on Monday morning
Torquator Tasso on Monday morning (PA)

Aidan O’Brien, who has previously struck gold in the mile-and-a-half contest with Galileo (2001), Dylan Thomas (2007), Duke Of Marmalade (2008) and Highland Reel (2016), this year relies upon Broome, who won the Hardwicke Stakes over the course and distance on his latest appearance.

The small but select field is completed by William Muir and Chris Grassick’s stable star Pyledriver, who found Hukum too strong when defending his crown in Epsom’s Coronation Cup last month.

With his regular rider Martin Dwyer sidelined by injury, and Dettori, who has been on the board the last twice unavailable, PJ McDonald takes over in the saddle.

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