Royal Ascot is now fast approaching, in what is the greatest spectacle of flat racing, and the pinnacle of UK horse races. The key race of the meeting is the Gold Cup, and this year’s edition is already billing up to be a fascinating contest. Here we cover the leading horses.
The son of Sea the stars quickly established himself into the leading stayer last season, that included a victory in this race. Stradivarius put in an unbeaten season winning five starts in succession, that included landing the ‘Stayers triple crown’, meaning a £1 million bonus for connections. For more bonuses look at Melbourne Cup Betting for a complete guide to Australia’s most famous race.
This was a clear indication of just how tough the horse was, as he continued to perform in the leading races throughout the season. This included victories in the Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup stakes, before the end of season victory on Champions day in the Long Distance Cup. Stradivarius now heads into this season as the horse to beat and is just 2/1 to pick up another Ascot Gold Cup.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) 20 October 2018
The current second favourite for the race, who is a best priced 6/1. The Charlie Appleby trained, Godolphin owned stayer, appears to be a horse of real class. He keeps improving so is now likely to pose a real challenge to the previously mentioned Stradivarius. His key performance to date came in the 2018 running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington racecourse. He travelled ominously well and once getting a clear run, he stayed on very well to win readily. This also meant a first victory in the race for his trainer. He returned with a victory in the Dubai Gold Cup, on World Cup night, again showing his staying ability. He now rates a very strong contender for the Ascot showpiece.
The final horse worth a mention is the Aiden O’Brien trained Capri, who is a general 8/1 shot for the race. The five year old son of Galileo is a seasoned performer and if able to return to his best, could be another stayer to follow for connections. You only have to go back to 2017, when he landed the Irish Derby ahead of no other than Cracksman. He was also only beaten 3 ¼ lengths in last years Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which shows the level he has been performing at. He returned with a very disappointing defeat in the Group three Vintage Crop, when he looked very one paced, finishing fifth behind stablemate Master of Reality. He can be expected to improve greatly from this and is another key contender for the upcoming Ascot Gold Cup.