Saturday’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes has been blown wide open after hot favourite Postponed was ruled out of the Ascot showpiece after an unsatisfactory scope on Wednesday morning.
Roger Varian’s stable star was a general 1/2 favourite to make it back-to-back wins in the Group One contest but the market has a completely different look to it now, with the Queen’s Dartmouth, who was only supplemented for the race at the five-day stage, the new favourite at best odds 2/1, having been a general 5/1 chance before the news of Postponed broke.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Highland Reel is now no bigger than 5/2 from 7/1 to provide his trainer with a fourth success in the race, while Derby fourth Wings Of Desire, an 8/1 chance on Tuesday, is now best odds 7/2 to land his first Group One contest. French raider Erupt is now 4/1 from 10/1, and it’s double figures bar the ‘big four’.
Roger Varian said of Postponed on his website: “This news is obviously very disappointing and it is a real shame for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, the team and the racing public that he will not line up on Saturday.
“But, as is always the case, the interests of the horse must come first. If he is not 100 per cent, the only sensible thing to do is not run.
“We will let the horse recover from this setback before making a plan of where he runs next. We still have many big days ahead to look forward to.”