07/26/2006 11:00PM

Electrocutionist has edge in King George

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Electrocutionist can take advantage of a Hurricane Run who may not be in top form and a Heart's Cry who has not run in four months when they meet in the $1.38 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford declared Thursday that Electrocutionist is back in the same form that won him this year's Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race. Electrocutionist has since finished second, beaten a half-length by Ouija Board, in the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales's Stakes, which came on the same good-to-firm course expected in the 1 1/2-mile King George. Frankie Dettori will ride for Godolphin, which seeks its sixth win in the King George since 1995.

The issue, however, is far from clear cut. Hurricane Run, last year's Arc winner and European champion, has failed to impress in two outings this season. He earned few plaudits for his victory in a three-runner Tattersalls Gold Cup, then failed to hold a clear lead in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, in which he was caught near the line by Pride. Christophe Soumillon, taken off Hurricane Run after his second-place finish in last year's French Derby, will be back on board Hurricane Run, whose sire, Montjeu, is the only French-trained horse to win the King George since Pawneese in 1976.

Hurricane Run will be difficult to beat if he is back to his best, even in the presence of Heart's Cry, the Japanese sensation who arrives in England off two of the most remarkable victories in the last seven months.

After finishing an unlucky second to Alkaased in the Japan Cup last November, Heart's Cry became the only horse to defeat Deep Impact when he won the Arima Kinen on Dec. 25. Three months later, Heart's Cry crushed 13 rivals in the Dubai Sheema Classic, but he has been absent since then and may be in need of a race despite his ability to run well off a long layoff. Regular rider Christophe Lemaire has the call.

All three of the favorites would have to collapse for Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Maraahel to win. Enforcer appears outmatched. Godolphin will employ Group 1 winner and 2004 Arc runner-up Cherry Mix as a rabbit for Electrocutionist in a King George that, with the withdrawal of Soapy Danger, will be without a 3-year-old. The six-horse field is the smallest since 1966, when Aunt Edith beat four others.