Thursday 20th June – 4:20 – Royal Ascot – 2m 4f (2m 3f 210y) Gold Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+)
The Gold Cup was established in 1807 and was originally open to horses aged three and over. The Gold Cup is the first leg of the Stayers’ Triple Crown which includes the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup. All three races were last won in the same season by Double Trigger in 1995. The most successful horse in the history of the race is Yeats who won he race on four occasions between 2006 and 2009.
Over the last 25 years four year olds have been the most successful with 12 wins, five year olds have won four times, six year olds seven times and seven and eight year olds have won on three occasions. The last 12 renewals have been won by horses aged four to six on 11 occasions.
The betting has been a better guide recently with 10 of the last 12 winners starting at prices no bigger than 6/1. Favourites have fared very well recently with eight of the last 12 winners going off as favourite.
Previous winning form in the current season is a factor worth noting as 19 of the last 24 winners had won earlier in the season and nine of the last 12 winners won on their last run before the Gold Cup. Previous winning course form should also be considered with eight of the last 12 winners having previously won at the course.
British trained horses who ran in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown earlier in the season have a good recent record in the Gold Cup as seven of the last 10 British trained horses who ran in the race went on to win the Gold Cup.
Irish trained horses have a very good recent record in the race with seven of the last 12 Gold Cup victories going to Irish trained runners.
An Official Rating of 107 has been necessary to win the race nine times in the last 12 seasons and 10 of the last 12 winners had previously won in Groups 1 to 3.
The John Gosden-trained Stradivarius has good claims on current form. The five year old Chestnut Colt was impressive on his seasonal reappearance at York where he won the Yorkshire Cup by ¾ lengths from the Aiden O’Brien-trained Southern France. Stradivarius also won the same race last year before winning the Ascot Gold Cup. Six of the last 22 Gold Cup winners contested the Group 2 race.
He was unbeaten in 2018, winning two Group 1’s and three Group 2 races. He runs off an Official Rating of 120 today. He is proven in the ground and has won three of his four starts at Ascot. He has the assistance of Frankie Dettori who has ridden him on five of his last six runs. His success in the Yorkshire Cup last month suggests that he is as good as ever and he could prove very hard to beat today.
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