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Royal Ascot - Horse Racing: Generational stayer Stradivarius bids for historic fourth Ascot Gold Cup

Ribblesdale Stakes

The first Group race on day three is one of the day’s main attractions, where the three-year-old fillies take centre stage over 12 furlongs.
 
Overview

When: Thursday 16th June
Time: 3.40pm
Distance: 1 mile 4 furlongs
Winning prize money: £113,420
Class: Group 2
Open to: Three-year-old fillies

Key facts:

With the Ribblesdale Stakes being ran over the Epsom Oaks distance, it might be expected this would be somewhat of an Oaks rematch. In recent times, this has not been the case with usually only a handful of fillies competing in both contests.

In recent years, John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have dominated the race and had seven of the last eight winners. Frankie Dettori has a similarly impressive record, with eight wins to his name in the races history.

In 2020, the Oaks took place after the Ribblesdale Stakes meaning this race became a pointer for the following fillies’ Classic. The winner that year was Frankly Darling who went on to finish third in the Oaks.

Sir Michael Stoute is the most successful trainer in Royal Ascot history, however it has been some time since the legendary trainer celebrated success in this Group 2 contest. His most recent win came when Spanish Moon landed the 2003 renewal.

Five in focus:

Sea Silk Road

Trainer: William Haggas 
Jockey: Tom Marquand
Owner: Sunderland Holding Inc
Sire: Sea The Stars
Age: 3
Official Rating: 103
Race Record: 6/11
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 13/8
Major Wins: Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes
Summary: Unbeaten in two starts this term, winning impressively both times including Listed race at Goodwood last time. Still improving and should go close.

Life Of Dreams

Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Jockey: William Buick
Owner: Godolphin
Sire: Dubawi
Age: 3
Official Rating: 100
Race Record: 12
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 10/3
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Only had two career starts, winning impressively on debut - however was readily brushed aside in the Musidora at York.

Magical Lagoon

Trainer: Jessica Harrington
Jockey: Shane Foley
Owner: Zhang Yuesheng
Sire: Galileo
Age: 3
Official Rating: 107
Race Record: 417/2
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 10/3
Major Wins: Group 3 Flame Of Tara Stakes
Summary: Landed a Group 3 in her two-year-old campaign and returned with a close second to Concert Hall at Navan who has since finished 4th in the Oaks.

History

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Owner: M Tabor/D Smith/Mrs J Magnier/Westerberg
Sire: Galileo
Age: 3
Official Rating: 104
Race Record: 221/17
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 13/2
Major Wins: Group 3 Cornelscourt Stakes
Summary: Returned this season with a smart win in Leopardstown Group 3, however did not back up that effort when well beaten in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Steps up markedly in trip.
 

Mukaddamah

Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: Jim Crowley
Owner: Shadwell Estate Company Ltd
Sire: New Approach
Age: 3
Official Rating: 100
Race Record: 123
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 10/1
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Has only had three career starts and produced respectful performances in defeat this season. Should improve for the step up in trip.
 

Gold Cup

For many racing fans, the Gold Cup is the highlight of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting, where generational stayer Stradivarius bids for a record-equalling fourth success.

Overview

When: Thursday 16th June
Time: 4.20pm
Distance: 2 mile 4 furlongs
Winning prize money: £283,550
Class: Group 1
Open to: Four-year-olds and up

Key facts:

The Ascot Gold Cup is still widely regarded as the feature of the week. It also forms part of the Stayers’ Triple Crown, which is made up by the Goodwood Cup and Doncaster Cup later in the season.

There have been more than one multiple winner of the race including Sagaro, Ardross and the famous stayer Yeats. This puts Stradivarius in esteemed company, with three Gold Cups already to his name and bidding for a fourth to draw level with Yeats.

A key trial for the Ascot Gold Cup is the Sagaro Stakes, with four horses since 1995 doing the double. Princess Zoe landed the Sagaro Stakes this season and bids to add to that tally.

The aforementioned Yeats used The Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan as a stepping-stone to his Ascot victories in 2007 and 2008, and current favourite Kyprios has followed the same path this season.

Fillies and mares have rarely taken part in the race, with the last winning female coming in 2013 in the form of Estimate for The Queen. There are three fillies bidding for glory in this year’s renewal.

The jockey to follow has been Frankie Dettori who has eight Gold Cup victories to his name, three of these aboard Stradivarius. Aidan O’Brien is the leading trainer in Ascot Gold Cup history with seven winners, landing the race most recently in 2016 with Order Of St George.

Four in focus:

Kyprios

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Owner: Moyglare/Magnier/Tabor/Smith/Westerberg
Sire: Galileo
Age: 4
Official Rating: 116
Race Record: 16/14/11
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price:
Major Wins: Group 3 Levmoss Stakes, Listed Vintage Crop Stakes
Summary: Young improving stayer, taking similar route to stay stayer Yeats winning the Vintage Crop Stakes. Strong claims to be the up-and-coming force in the division.
Trainer Quotes: TBC

Stradivarius

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Owner: Mr B E Nielsen
Sire: Sea The Stars
Age: 8
Official Rating: 118
Race Record: 541 / 121133 / 11111 / 111112 / 311270 / 141123 / 1
Previous Royal Ascot results: 2021: 4th – Group 1 Gold Cup, 2020: 1st – Group 1 Gold Cup, 2019: 1st – Group 1 Gold Cup, 2018: 1st – Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, 2017: 1st Group 2 Queens Vase
Current Price:
Major Wins: Four x Group 1 Goodwood Cup, Three x Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, Three x Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, Three x Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, Two x Group 2 Doncaster Cup, Group 2 Long Distance Cup, Group 2 Queens Vase, Group 3 Sagaro Stakes
Summary: Star stayer of recent times, winning the most group races by a horse trained in Europe. May not be the force of old, however still has strong claims and would raise the roof off Ascot should he come home in front.

Mojo Star

Trainer: Richard Hannon
Jockey: Rossa Ryan
Owner: Amo Racing Limited
Sire: Sea The Stars
Age: 4
Official Rating: 116
Race Record: 2 / 225120
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 16/1
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Only has one maiden win to his name, however has some strong form last season including finishing 2nd in both The Derby and St Leger. Tough ask on seasonal reappearance but is unexposed.

Princess Zoe

Trainer: Anthony Mullins
Jockey: Joey Sheridan
Owner: Patrick F Kehoe/Mrs P Crampton
Sire: Jukebox Jury
Age: 7
Official Rating: 113
Race Record: 2232? / 2111114 / 94225 / 01
Previous Royal Ascot results: 2021: 2nd – Group 1 Gold Cup
Current Price:
Major Wins: Group 3 Sagaro Stakes, Group 1 Prix Du Cadran
Summary: Good second in this race last year, and returned this season with a win in the Sagaro Stakes, which has been a key trial for this race.

Hampton Court Stakes

The final Group race on day three takes place for three-year-colts. Reach For The Moon is the hot favourite, with Frankie Dettori bidding to give The Queen a Royal Ascot winner.

Overview

When: Thursday 16th June
Time: 5.35pm
Distance: 1 mile 2 furlong
Winning prize money: £59,200
Class: Group 3
Open to: Three-year-olds

Key facts:

The Hampton Court Stakes has been raced under different titles in recent times, including the Churchill Stakes. It was credited Group 3 Status and renamed the Tercentenary Stakes in 2011 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ascot racecourse. It then reverted to the Hampton Court Stakes in 2017, as it is now commonly known.

Trainer and jockey combination Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore have had a stranglehold on the race, both notching up four winners.

Recent renewals have shown there is no clear-cut trails for the race; however, it is interesting to note none of the last 12 winners had raced at Ascot previously.

Market leaders have typically fared well in the Hampton Court Stakes, with five successful favourites in the last 12 renewals and three second favourites winning during this period.

Five in focus:

Reach For The Moon

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Owner: The Queen
Sire: Sea The Stars
Age: 3
Official Rating: 113
Race Record: 22112/2
Previous Royal Ascot results: 2021: 2nd – Listed Chesham Stakes
Current Price:
Major Wins: Group 3 Solario Stakes
Summary: Well-regarded colt, missed the Dante due to a setback but returned with a good run in Sandown Listed race where he was only just denied. Still improving and should go close.

Cresta


Trainer: Martyn Meade
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Owner: Mr Mohammed Bin Hamad Khalifa Al Attiy
Sire: New Bay
Age: 3
Official Rating: 104
Race Record: 142/52
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 15/2
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Left a poor reappearance run behind when runner up in Chester Listed event last time. Was sold for £490,000 this week.
 

Claymore

Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam
Jockey: Adam Kirby
Owner: Mrs Mary Slack
Sire: New Bay
Age: 3
Official Rating: 107
Race Record: 1/20
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 6/1
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Impressed on debut before finishing second in the bet365 Craven Stakes behind Native Trail, still looking green. Still has potential.

Maksud

Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Jockey: Tom Marquand
Owner: Thurloe Thoroughbreds Liv
Sire: Golden Horn
Age: 3
Official Rating: 99
Race Record: 14
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 9/1
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Just the two career starts, however was impressive when winning on debut at Windsor and finished a close fourth in Listed race last time. Should go on improving with experience.

Kingmax

Trainer: Dave Loughnane
Jockey: Rossa Ryan
Owner: Amo Racing Limited
Sire: Kingman
Age: 3
Official Rating: 101
Race Record: 22/145
Previous Royal Ascot results: N/A
Current Price: 16/1
Major Wins: N/A
Summary: Changed hands from Roger Varian to Dave Loughnane over the winter. Has shown improvement this season, finishing fourth in the bet365 Craven and fifth in the Dante.

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