Frankie Dettori expects King George battle

FRANKIE Dettori has likened Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot to a heavyweight boxing contest.

The Italian could land the telling knockout blow on Mahmood Al Zarooni's Rewilding, although there are other big punchers in there with the likes of Workforce, St Nicholas Abbey and the three-year-old Nathaniel.

Dettori has already won the midsummer showpiece four times - but his admiration for the race has never wavered ever since it was one of only three big European contests he watched as a child growing up in Milan. Rewilding lowered the colours of the great Australian import So You Think in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, adding to his victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

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With the Ascot win under his belt, confidence is high in the camp that he can add another leg of the Qipco British Champions Series to his tally.

"He's been a great horse for me. He's hard as nails. He's not very big, but his courage is fantastic," said Dettori. "What a great race it is. As a child I was only able to watch three races in Milan, the Derby, the King George and the Arc, so for me, watching races as a kid was like watching races on the moon. To have won all three and to be part of them is always special, it's like the Monaco Grand Prix - the King George is a massive race. I've won it four times so it's been lucky for me.

"I've got a great chance this year so I'm very excited. It looks one of the best renewals for years. There might not be many runners, but you can't get better than what will be there. I can't wait.

"The great thing about the King George is that it's a man's race, it's a tough track with an uphill finish and only the good ones come through.It's like 12 rounds of a heavyweight boxing match - there is nowhere to hide, three furlongs out the gloves come off and only the best come through, that's why it's so special."

Workforce yesterday displaced St Nicholas Abbey as favourite in the ante-post betting, with Sir Michael Stoute's colt into 13-8 and the Ballydoyle flagbearer 7-4.

At Musselburgh yesterday, Persian Peril completed a rare double by winning his second race at a Scottish track inside 24 hours. Alan Swinbank's runner was successful at Ayr on Monday and made it back-to-back wins by taking the Handicap.

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