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Is Telescope a worthy favourite for the King George?

Telescope heads Coral’s betting for Saturday’s Qipco-sponsored King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at 2/1 after 12 horses remained in the Ascot showpiece at the latest entry stage.

Investec Oaks heroine Taghrooda is next in the betting at 5-2, ahead of Magician at 5-1, and Eagle Top now 6-1 (from 10-1) after being been supplemented at a cost of £75,000.

Coral’s David Stevens said: “The gamble on Taghrooda – that saw her odds tumble to as short as 7-4 – finally appears to have run out of steam, and Telescope is once again clear favourite to complete an Ascot double last achieved by the same connections with Harbinger four years ago.”

To me the market has got it wrong, and Telescope is not entitled to to favourite for the contest based on what he has achieved on the track.
The Sir Michael stoute trained colt was soundly beaten on his first two starts this season by Noble Mission, albeit on soft ground which connection said didn’t suit, before winning the Group 2 Harwdicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in runaway style from Hillstar.

The son of Galileo slammed his stable companion by seven lengths, but Hillstar was poorly ridden from off the pace and has since been beaten by an eight-year-old in a weak Group 2 contest at Newmarket.

The form of the Hardwicke, in my opinion, does not look strong and certainly doesn’t entitle Telescope to be so short for the King George considering he has never even competed at Group 1 level.

Telescope appears to have been priced up on his reputation and connections, and classic winning Taghrooda has stronger form in the book and should arguably be shorter than him in the betting.

The John Gosden trained filly could not have been more impressive when winning the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom to make it three wins out of three, and is officially 4lb higher than Telescope.

As a three-year-old filly, Taghrooda also gets a hefty weight-for-age and sex allowance of 15lb from Telescope, and that gives the daughter of Sea The Stars gives her outstanding claims of providing owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum with his second winner of the race following the success of Nashwan in 1989.