Take Cover won the King George Stakes at Goodwood last year and the horse can win the race again on Thursday. The highlight of the fourth day of the meeting is a Group 2 contest over five furlongs for colts, geldings and fillies. Twelve horses have been declared and Take Cover looks an each way bet to nothing.
Three-year-olds get a three-pound weight allowance from the older horses while female horses carry three pounds less than the male ones. Take Cover is now a veteran at age 10 and the next oldest horse is Glass Office who is seven and the rest of the field are aged five or younger.
Take Cover also won the King George Stakes in 2014 and no horse has prevailed three times. Seven horses have been successful twice so if winning the David Griffiths animal would create a record. Lester Piggott is the leading jockey with 9 wins while two trainers have won the race four times but not since the 1960’s.
Since 2000 there have been winners aged from four to nine with Take Cover the oldest last year. Clearly, the horse is suited to the track and the minimum race distance. Take Cover has something to find on ratings but his race experience on the unusual track could be crucial. The race is run on the straight course but horses can still get bad luck in running but Take Cover knows the track more than the others.
Take Cover has been a consistent horse over a seven-year career which has featured 11 wins from 33 starts on the Flat. He has a career highest rating of 113 but ran just below that level when winning on his latest start at York. A third place finish in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last year was the career pinnacle. A repeat of that level of form can get the job done in the King George Stakes.
Marsha is the best horse based on Racing Post Ratings and has a few pounds in hand over Take Cover. However, in the King George Stakes, last year Take Cover beat Marsha by about a length and renews under the same conditions. Marsha gets the fillies allowance of three pounds but Take Cover can handle that handicap.
Battaash is the ante post favourite and as a female also carries three pounds less than Take Cover. The horse has won twice over the minimum distance at Sandown on her last two starts but the ratings from those races suggest Take Cover has something in hand. Battaash looks like a favourite to oppose despite the weight advantage.
Profitable carries the full weight allocation and will be burdened with the same weight as Take Cover. The Clive Cox trained horse was second in the King’s Stands Stakes behind Lady Aurelia at Royal Ascot where Marsha was a further neck adrift. Profitable has the highest historical rating but has never run at Goodwood where Take Cover can create history on Friday.