King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes predictions: Westover can back up Irish Derby win
Group 1 action from Ascot is coming up on Saturday afternoon as the generations clash in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes.
The mile-and-a-half contest, due off at 3.35pm, is one of the summer highlights and a field of six quality performers are set to lock horns with more than £700,000 going to the victor.
Mishriff is aiming to better last year's second but faces two exciting three-year-olds as well as the Arc winner in a small but select field.
Mishriff bids for better
The older brigade are headed by the John and Thady Gosden charge Mishriff.
He is back here after looking a shade unfortunate to only finish second in the Eclipse at Sandown three weeks ago.
Mishriff did not get a clear run at the furlong pole that day and was beaten by a neck by Vadeni.
He is reliable at this distance, though may be best at a mile-and-a-quarter.
Either way, he has got valid claims under James Doyle, who replaces regular rider David Egan.
Arc winner may want rain
Torquator Tasso defied massive odds to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in the autumn and now the German raider is seeking another big Group 1 win.
He has already got a brace of those in his native country to go along with that Arc win and he was a clear-cut Group 3 scorer at Hamburg three weeks ago.
On ratings, he is entitled to go very close, but there are doubts over his ability to handle the forecast fast ground.
Broom won the Hardwicke Stakes over course and distance last month for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore, dominating in front under a strong pace.
He was almost 10 lengths behind Torquator Tasso in the Arc, however, and was beaten by a similar margin in this race last summer.
His potential strong pace may serve some of his rivals well.
Pyledriver is an admirable performer and was second to Hukum in the Coronation Cup at Epsom last month, but it seems William Muir's charge has plenty on his plate in this company.
Look to the West
Which leaves the pair of promising three-year-olds.
Emily Upjohn, also trained by the Gosdens, was desperately unlucky in The Oaks at Epsom last month.
She stumbled leaving the gates and, racing in rear, had to come wide to challenge under Frankie Dettori — eventually beaten only on the nod by Tuesday at the post.
She is unbowed otherwise and could have more to come, but she may well need it to thwart Westover now.
Third in the Derby at Epsom, Westover was generally considered unlucky not to have finished second after getting trapped on the running rail.
It is hard to suggest he would have beaten Desert Crown that day regardless, but he has since gone to the Curragh and beaten his Irish Derby rivals by a handsome seven lengths.
With the Epsom winner a late absentee from this contest, the stage is cleared for Ralph Beckett's son of Frankel to stamp his class on the race and notch a second Group 1 in the hands of the excellent Irish champion jockey Colin Keane, who keeps the ride after a flawless effort four weeks ago.
They will be very happy if Broome sets a decent gallop in front.
The Gosden pair of Mishriff and Emily Upjohn will make life tough, but Westover seems set to establish himself as a top-class colt over this trip on the back of his emphatic Irish Derby win.