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Queen’s Estimate ready to raise the roof on Gold Cup day

The bookmakers are just in front after 2 days of the Royal meeting but Her Majesty The Queen’s Estimate can strike a big blow for the punters in the Gold Cup (3.45). Sir Michael Stoute’s filly won at the corresponding meeting 12 months ago and can repeat the performance in the feature race on Thursday.

She has been trained specifically for the race this season and came through her prep race in fine style when landing the Sagaro Stakes. Her main market rivals are the Irish-trained trio of Rite Of Passage, Simenon and Saddler’s Rock.

The card opens with some speedy two-year-olds over five furlongs in the Norfolk Stakes (2.30). Aidan O’Brien has already chalked up three winners and saddles the favourite in Coach House. The pace is likely to be set by the American challenger No Nay Never, the last of Wesley Ward’s three juvenile raiders.

The Ribblesdale Stakes (3.05) has lost a little of its sparkle with the withdrawal of the Epsom Oaks third The Lark. Trainer Michael Bell feels that the ground is too firm to risk his filly who may now head for the Irish Oaks.

Winsili finished ahead of The Lark in a muddling race at Newbury whilst there has been good support for Alive Alive Oh. Aidan O’Brien is represented by Irish 1000 Guineas third Just Pretending.

The Britannia Stakes at 4.25 is as competitive as ever with Richard Hannon’s Wentworth likely to go off favourite after an unlucky defeat at Goodwood last time. Cape Peron is regarded as potentially group class but trainer Henry Candy has voiced concerns over the prospect of firm ground.

The Tercentenary Stakes (5.00) features the hugely impressive Doncaster winner Remote who steps out of handicap company. He slammed subsequent York winner Baltic Knight by six lengths last time out and is entitled to go close here on that evidence. Chopin drops back in distance after finishing seventh in the Derby and Shikarpour was fourth in the French Derby.

The third day closes with another wide-open contest for the King George V Stakes. Bold Sniper is another leading fancy for HM The Queen whilst Excellent Result routed his field last time out.