David Simcock hoping for soft conditions for Desert Encounter in Saturday’s King George


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Simcock knows it will be tough to beat the likes of Enable and Highland Reel but if the ground comes up soft it gives Desert Encounter his best chance of causing an upset

TRAINER David Simcock is doing his rain dance ahead of Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Simcock’s Desert Encounter is a general 20-1 shot for the prestigious contest having produced a career-best performance to finish third on his Group 1 debut in the Coral-Eclipse at the start of the month.


Simcock knows he will need soft ground to inconvenience a few of his rivals and help Desert Encounter’s chance.

Simcock said: “It’s been the owner’s plan for a while.

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Desert Encounter (far right) will relish soft ground

“I’d love it if it came up soft as it would inconvenience a few of the others and we know he goes through it.”

The King George received a significant potential boost over the weekend after connections of dual Oaks heroine Enable gave the filly the option of taking on the boys for the first time.

While Simcock respects John Gosden’s dual Oaks winner, he questioned whether she will be at her best just a fortnight after her latest Classic triumph at the Curragh.

“We all like to see good horses run in races like this. John Gosden did it with Taghrooda and Enable is fast-improving,” Simcock told At The Races.

“If I played devil’s advocate, is it a bit too close to the Irish Oaks? We’ll see.”

Ulysses won the Coral-Eclipse by just a nose on his last start

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Ulysses won the Coral-Eclipse by just a nose on his last start

Coral-Eclipse winner Ulysses is set to run in the King George – as long as there isn’t too much rain.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family, said: “The plan is to run. If there was a lot of rain in the coming days, we might have to review it, but it’s a nice, sunny day today and all being well he’ll be there to take his chance.

“Everyone is very happy with him. I think the line of thought from Sir Michael and his team is that he’ll be as effective over a mile and a half as he is over a mile and a quarter.

“It’s good to have the option of running over both distances.”



Permian could still run on Saturday

The decision to let Enable run is set to be made on Wednesday while Mark Johnston has also not made his mind whether Permian will take his place in the field.

Johnston said: “I haven’t had a proper look at it yet. I’ll discuss it with his owner (Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) at the same time as I go through the race.”

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