Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot, traditionally the day for very silly hats, but thankfully there’s a bit of racing as well.
The main event is at 4.20, with a field of nine, headed by the 2016 winner Order Of St George, best priced at 2-1 along with main rival Stradivarius.
OOSG is unlucky not to be going for a three-peat, having gone down by a short knocker last year when not perhaps given the finest ride of his career by Ryan Moore. Compensation awaits and this 6-y-o should be backed with confidence.
We also suggest, just in case, an each way ‘saver’ on Desert Skyline at 12-1 as this horse will be staying on when others have had enough.
The meeting starts with the Norfolk Stakes at 2.30 and, if collateral form means anything at all, we have to be with Charles Hills‘ runner Glory Fighter, who broke the track record at Leafy last time out and is available at an attractive 12-1.
The Hampton Court Stakes at 3.05 has a field of 16 and it’s 4-1 the field. We think this is wide open and suggest an each way punt on Sir Michael‘s representative Zaaki at 16-1 (4 places). Having acquitted himself admirable in Group contests last season when trained by Muhammed Moubarak, the switch to the knighted one this year has seen the colt begin to blossom and he could surprise.
At 3.40, the Ribblesdale Stakes sees the return to action of the Oaks second Wild Illusion, which, despite being saddled with a 3lb penalty, could simply be different class. Charlie Appleby is exuding confidence and so are we – a win bet at 3-1 is advised.
Additionally, a horse that might outrun its odds is the AO’B trained Sarrochi, crying out for this step up in trip and the mount of Wayne Lordan. An each way tickle is recommended at 33-1.
Final two races are in the ‘impossible handicap’ category, but needs must, so here we go:
In the Britannia Stakes at 5.00 we like the chances of George Of Hearts e/w @ 8-1 and Simpson e/w @ 33-1, while in the King George V Stakes at 5.35 our two against the filed are Corgi e/w @ 14-1 and Cassini e/w @ 20-1.
“Let’s be careful out there”
Order Of St George 4.20 Ascot win @ 2-1
Desert Skyline 4.20 Ascot e/w @ 12-1
Glory Fighter 2.30 Ascot e/w @ 12-1
Zaaki 3.05 Ascot e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)
Wild Illusion 3.40 Ascot win @ 3-1
Sarrochi 3.40 Ascot e/w @ 33-1
George Of Hearts 5.00 Ascot e/w @ 8-1 (6 places)
Simpson 5.00 Ascot e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)
Corgi 5.35 Ascot e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)
Cassini 5.35 Ascot e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)