Royal Ascot Gold Cup Ante-Post Preview
The Ascot Gold Cup is the most prestigious staying flat race in the World. Multiple winners include Yeats who won it four times between 2006 and 2009 and Sagaro who won three times between 1975 and 1977.
Godolphin has won the race five times and their challenge is likely to be led by 2012 winner Colour Vision. The grey just held the late challenge of Opinion Poll 12 months ago but has been beaten in all five subsequent starts.
The famous blue colours could also be represented by Willing Foe who won the Ebor Handicap at York last year and started his campaign with a comprehensive win in the Aston Park Stakes at Newbury. The veteran Cavalryman won well at Meydan but could do no better than fifth in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown.
The Sandown race was the starting point for a number of these runners with Number Theory (2nd), Model Pupil (3rd), High Jinx (4th) and Times Up (6th) all expected to renew rivalry. The race went to 20-1 French raider Gloomy Sunday and suggests that there is no outstanding horse in this division this year.
The 2010 Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage has found himself at the head of the market almost by default. He won the Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day here in October but missed his intended prep race and goes straight for the big race.
Saddler’s Rock finished third 12 months ago before gaining compensation in the Goodwood Cup. He is another that is bound to be in the shake up along with Simenon who won twice at this meeting in 2012. He won both the Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra Stakes and put up a fine display to be fourth under a big weight in the Chester Cup.
If there is one horse at the meeting that the public would love to cheer home in front it must be Her Majesty The Queen’s Estimate. She delighted the crowd when winning the Queen’s Vase to provide a Royal winner in Jubilee year and won the Sagaro Stakes first time out.