Thursday 21st 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 the race on four occasions between 2006 and 2009.
Over the last 25 years four year olds have been the most successful with 11 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 ten occasions.
The betting has been a better guide recently with 11 of the last 12 winners starting at prices no bigger than 7/1. Favourites have fared reasonably well with seven of the last 12 winners going off as favourite.
Previous winning form in the current season is a factor worth noting as 18 of the last 23 winners had won earlier in the season and eight of the last 12 winners won on their last run before the Gold Cup. Previous winning course form should also be considered with seven 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 eight of the last 12 Gold Cup victories going to Irish trained runners.
An Official Rating of 107 has been necessary to win the race eight 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 four year old Chestnut Colt was impressive on his seasonal reappearance at York where he won the Yorkshire Cup by 3 lengths. Five of the last 22 Gold Cup winners contested the Group 2 race. He was a close up third in the St Leger last season and the form of the race has worked out very well. Stradivarius, who runs off an Official Rating of 118, also won the Group 3 Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting last year and both the 2013 and 2014 winners went on to win the Gold Cup in the following season.