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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes trends: Taghrooda has it all to do

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Qipco British Champion Series) takes place at Ascot this Saturday and is always one of the highlights on the British Flat horse racing calendar.

Run over a mile and a half, this year’s race see’s the Epsom Oaks winner, Taghrooda, attempt to be the first three-year-old filly win this since 1976 as she takes on the likes of Telescope, Magician and fellow three-year-old Eagle Top, all of whom have performed brilliantly at Ascot already this season.

The market support behind Taghrooda has been pretty sensational considering her inexperience against the elders, being cut in from 8/1 earlier last week to a general 11/4 chance. It’s great for the race that John Gosden and her owners have chanced their arm at this prize but does she have realistic claims at her current price? We’ve taken a look at the past results of three-year-old fillies and it doesn’t make for good reading for anyone that is planning on taking that price on Taghrooda’s chances.

Looking back over the last 10 years only one three-year-old, colt or filly, has come out on top in Ascot’s summer feature.

That was another Gosden-trained horse in the shape of the brilliant Nathaniel who was built like a bull and defied his age when beating Workforce, St Nicholas Abbey and the ill-fated Rewilding in 2011. He was a fantastic horse though and not many of him come around too often.

What’s a little more worrying for Taghrooda or Eagle Top backers is that only three of the 11 three-year-olds to run in this race have finished placed. The weight for age allowance isn’t that kind to them in my opinion as most horses of that generation are still filling their frame and have improvement to find as they get older.

Danedream became the first female winner of this race last year since Charter in 1983. The last three-year-old filly to win this was Pawneese in 1976 but there isn’t much of a sample to really make it a damming statistic.

Gosden’s star filly was imperious when romping away with the Oaks but is this year’s crop of three-year-old fillies a top notch one? Looking at the way the second Tarfasha and third Volume ran in the Irish equivalent I would put my neck on the line at this stage and say no. That along with the poor record of three-year-olds make me feel that Taghroodha is well worth staying clear of at short prices.

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