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Ascot Gold Cup: Runners and Riders

It's the undoubted highlight of Royal Ascot on Thursday afternoon as the contenders go for glory in the Gold Cup itself, the most prestigious event across the five days of the meeting.

With more than 200 years of history, this is the race that Royal Ascot is famed for, an enduring test of stamina over two-and-a-half-miles as the Class of '23 bid to emulate greats like Sagaro, Stradivarius and record-breaker Yeats. 

Here's a look at the contenders in the Ascot Gold Cup and a reminder that every race across the five days of the meeting can be watched on the bet365 live sports streaming service.

WhatGold Cup
WhereAscot Racecourse
When4.20, Thursday 22nd June
How to watchbet365 live sports streaming, ITV & Sky Sports Racing
OddsColtrane 10/3, Eldar Eldarov 10/3, Emily Dickinson 6/1, Courage Mon Ami 7/1, Subjectivist 10/1, Yibir 10/1

The leading contenders 

Coltrane @ 10/3
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Oisin Murphy

Likes it at Ascot, with two wins and a head-second to Trueshan in the Long Distance Cup last season from his three visits. Winner of the Group 2 Doncaster Cup last season and began this term with impressive display here in the Sagaro Stakes here, beating Wise Eagle by 4¾-lengths. 

Also boasts a win over C&D so stamina is no concern, not something that can be said about all of his rivals, and he's probably the one to beat for Andrew Balding and former champion pilot Oisin Murphy – both seeking their maiden wins in this great race.

Eldar Eldarov @ 10/3 
Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: David Egan 

Queen's Vase winner at this meeting last year over 1m6f before going on to land the St Leger at Doncaster in the autumn.

The Dubawi colt was a distant seventh afterwards in the Long Distance Cup here, giving him plenty to find with Coltrane. 

Runner-up in the Yorkshire Cup (1m6f) last month on his comeback, he was conceding a penalty there and so came out best at the weights. Took a while to get into full cry, too, and every chance he improves for this extreme stamina test.

Emily Dickinson @ 6/1
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore

Touted for this race early in the spring by her trainer – who holds a record eight wins – and the Dubawi filly did nothing to dampen those notions when stylishly winning the Vintage Crop at Navan on her comeback in April.

Surprisingly turned over at Leopardstown since in the Levmoss Stakes, she perhaps wasn't suited in making most of the running there and was a target for the others late on. Should be suited by this distance and bounce-back effort isn't ruled out for top connections. 

Courage Mon Ami @ 7/1
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Gelded son of Frankel, now unbeaten in three career starts after easily defying a mark of 98 to win a 1m6f Goodwood handicap last month on his first start since October.

Did that well and was going away strongly at the line, so stamina is not viewed as a negative. He's extremely low-mileage for a target of this ilk, but it's nigh-on impossible to suggest how good he can be and his connections aren't known for tilting at windmills. 

Frankie's last ride in a race he's won eight times across three decades. 

Subjectivist @ 10/1 
Trainer: Charlie Johnston
Jockey: Joe Fanning

Led his rivals a merry dance – including the likes of Stradivarius – when winning this with a dominant display in 2021, adding to earlier Dubai Gold Cup win over two-miles in what proved his only two runs that year.

A tendon injury sidelined him for 618 days after he won here, making his comeback in Saudi Arabia in February. Since then he put up a strong effort back in Dubai in finishing third as Broome won the Gold Cup there in March. That effort shows he retains plenty ability as a 6YO and he could be much sharper now. 

The outsiders

A field of 14 were declared for Gold Cup duty. Subjectivist was five-lengths down on Broome (11/1) at Meydan over two-miles back in the spring. Time is against that particular Ballydoyle inmate but he has won at this meeting in the past and was just a length behind Eldar Eldarov at York last time. 

Record-breaking Yeats is the only 7YO (and again at eight) to win this since 1993 and Happy Man a century ago was the last first-time winner at this age.

Charlie Appleby and William Buick aim Yibir (10/1) at this target as they also go for a first Gold Cup win. He looked rusty in a Newbury Group 3 over 1m4f last month and there's a considerable stamina query beside his name.

Trueshan (20/1) needed rain and has got that to some degree but perhaps Alan King's excellent stayer will regret that it has come a year too late. He's won three times at 2m around here but was seven-lengths behind Coltrane in the Sagaro and needs a wind operation since then to have had a positive impact if he's going to recapture his best. Again, at seven-years-old, history is against him.

Wise Eagle (25/1) has been an excellent servant to trainer Adam Nicol and is worth a shot at this, but he was five-lengths behind Coltrane here last month when getting 5lb and will have his work cut out to reverse that form off levels. 

Smart hurdler Echoes In Rain (14/1) represents Willie Mullins and he's secured Tom Marquand to ride. The Authorized mare was second in the Irish Cesarewitch last season off a mark of 97 and will need more still returned to the level after winning 2-3 hurdles starts since including the Grade 1 Champion Mares' Hurdle at Punchestown in April.

Lone Eagle (40/1) hasn't had an easy time since finishing second in the 2021 Irish Derby but he's shown positive signs in two runs since joining Ralph Beckett and shapes as though a proper stamina test will suit. 

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