It’s Day 3 at Royal Ascot and its Gold Cup Day with the big race going off at 4:20. Trueshan looks likely to be a non-runner which means Kyprios seems likely to go off favourite. He’s won both this season’s starts, and the 4-year-old is a younger stayer very much on the up. He looks to have a good chance of giving Aidan O’Brien an 8th success in the race. if he stays 2m 4f.
Stradivarius bids for a 4th Gold Cup success and he gets his ideal underfoot conditions. However, the 8-year-old was only fourth in last year’s race. Princess Zoe finished runner-up 12 months ago and showed she’s just as effective on good to firm as soft ground when winning the Sagaro Stakes (2m) here in April. She’s a real stayer and the stronger the stamina test the better her chance. She shouldn’t be underestimated in her bid to go one better. If Kyprios doesn’t stay she could be the one to take advantage.
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Besides the Gold Cup there’s a couple of Group 2’s on a seven-race card. The speedy juveniles get things underway in the Norfolk Stakes (2:30). Expensive Breeze-up purchase Walbank looked a smart 2-year-old when winning at York last month and looks the one to beat. However, it would be unwise to discount the only filly in the race Pillow Talk. Her connections won yesterday’s Queen Mary Stakes with a speedy filly and although jockey Danny Tudhope is on Thunder Moor the Listed Marygate Stakes winner is very much in the mix. Add in The Antarctic, Battaash’s half-brother, who is unbeaten on his two career starts and you have the makings of a cracking renewal.
Sea Silk Road looks the one to beat in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (3:40). The recent Goodwood Listed race winner faces five rivals including Magical Lagoon who’s the top rated of these on official ratings and History who is surely better than she was able to show when disappointing in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last time.
Hats off to Her Majesty
Reach For The Moon should give The Queen a Royal Ascot winner in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes (5:35). He's yet to race beyond a mile but on pedigree should stay and improve for the step up to 1m 2f. Claymore looks the one to give the Queen’s horse most to do. The colt wasn’t seen to best effect in the French 2,000 Guineas last time. He’s better judged on his 3 ½ length 2nd of 6 to Native Trail in the Craven Stakes and like the favourite should be suited by the step up in trip.
Three big field handicaps complete the day’s action. All three are ultra-competitive. However, it may pay to keep onside Charlie Fellowes trained Chiefofchiefs (Buckingham Palace Stakes) and Atrium (Britannia Stakes. I mentioned last week the trainer’s record at the meeting on the straight course and both his runners have each way claims in their respective races.
Royal Ascot Selection:
4:20 – Princess Zoe – 15/2 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Royal Ascot bets.