Colour Vision tops a field of 18 for Ascot Gold Cup
Godolphin has won the race five times but rely on last year’s winner Colour Vision. Frankie Dettori just got him home from Opinion Poll in a controversial finish but Silvestre De Sousa is in the saddle this time. The grey has been beaten in all five subsequent races including when only seventh in the Henry II last time.
Her Majesty The Queen’s Estimate could well start favourite. Sir Michael Stoute’s filly thrilled the crowd when winning the Queen’s Vase 12 months ago to provide a Royal winner in Jubilee year. She has only been out once this season when winning the Sagaro Stakes here in good style.
Number Theory (2nd), Model Pupil (3rd), High Jinx (4th) and Times Up (6th) all used that race as a prep for Ascot. Dettori rides Times Up this year for Ed Dunlop and the horse has been well supported in the ante-post betting market.
The 2010 Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage has only raced twice since, finishing third at Leopardstown and winning here on British Champions Day in October. He missed his intended warm up race so Dermot Weld will have to produce a remarkable training performance to have him 100% after such a long layoff.
Saddler’s Rock finished third last season and gained compensation in the Goodwood Cup. He did not show his best form in Meydan in the spring but has been aimed at this race all season. Yet another strong Irish contender is Simenon who won two handicaps at this meeting in 2012.
He was a comprehensive winner of the Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra Stakes and put up an eye-catching performance when an unlucky fourth in the Chester Cup. He carried a huge weight that day and did not get a clear run until it was far too late, finishing with a rare rattle.
France are represented by Top Trip who was second in the Yorkshire Cup and Last Train, trained by Andre Fabre. Germany have sent over an interesting contender in Altano, the winner of 11 of his 24 races but yet to race beyond two miles.
There has been good each-way support for a big outsider in Biographer, trained by David Lanigan. He is stepping up from handicap company but looks progressive.