Ascot Gold Cup 2021 Guide

Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
4(8)
Frankie Dettori

Stradivarius

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 7
Weight: 9-2
OR: 125
Days: 50

The seven year old has been the poster boy for the UK staying division for the last four seasons landing 10 races in a row including winning a Weatherbys-sponsored £1million bonus in the last two seasons after landing the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup at York.

As mentioned, Stradivarius lost his unbeaten record that stretched back to May 2018, when being pipped in a photo finish on Champions Day 2019 in the Long Distance Cup.

He came back last season and had a prep run in the Group One Coronation Cup where he ran to a good standard finishing third and gave him the run he needed to go and win a third straight renewal of this event.

After joining the likes of Double Trigger and Yeats after landing the Gold Cup, he headed to Glorious Goodwood seeking a fourth win in the Goodwood Cup, which he went on to win.

He was dropped in trip after that in prep for the Arc, where the race did not suit him and that seemed to really mess him about with him only beating one home in the Long Distance Cup.

The mighty veteran came back this season for the Group Three Sagaro Stakes at Ascot and was a superb winner of the event over two miles and having been kept since then he will be fresh for his fourth go of landing the event.

One to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/21LON20VSft9-22
10/09/21DON18GF9-81
20/08/21YOR16.5GF9-31
17/06/21ASC20GF9-24
28/04/21ASC16GF9-21
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
12(4)
Joe Fanning

Subjectivist

J:
 
Joe Fanning
T:
 
Mark Johnston
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 117
Days: 82

The four year old was raced frequently last season at different distances with some nice form over 1m4f and 1m6f and 2m, with towards the back end of last term and the start of this one he has turned into a superb stayer.

He finished a staying on third at last year's meeting in the King George V Stakes behind Hukum and then went to Goodwood being stepped up to 1m6f for the first time and he revelled in it landing the Group Three March Stakes.

He was pitched into the St Leger and needed more of a staying trip not running to his real form, but got back on track next time out at ParisLongchamp when landing the Prix Royal-Oak.

Given a break until March the Group One winner made it back to back black type events when taking the Dubai Gold Cup over two miles at Meydan.

Subjectivist has been seen winning on both good and soft ground and if improving once more for this further half a mile, he looks to be the favourited biggest challenger.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/03/21MEY16Gd8-91
25/10/20LON15.5Hy8-101
12/09/20DON14.5Gd9-17
29/08/20GOO14Sft9-21
19/08/20YOR12Gd9-07
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
5(10)
Hollie Doyle

Trueshan

J:
 
Hollie Doyle
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 118
Days: 42

Trueshan represents Alan King and unsurprisingly warrants plenty of appeal after his Group Two success in the Long Distance Cup over two miles at Ascot on his final run of last season.

He is clearly a talented stayer and holds great claims for this event by which his yard will have their eyes very much fixed upon after his success at the track in October.

The gelding has been seen once this season at Chester in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes over 13.5f and was a good second behind frequent Group One winner Japan.

The more rain the better for this horse with his best form coming on soft and he looks to be another smart stayer that could throw it down to Stradivarius.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/21LON20VSft9-21
27/07/21GOO16Sft9-91
26/06/21NCS16.5St9-136
06/05/21CHS13.5GS9-52
17/10/20ASC16Sft9-71
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
3(6)
William Buick

Spanish Mission

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
Andrew Balding
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 117
Days: 34

The five year old will be ridden by William Buick again and has been very progressive during the last year or so when teaming up together, running against good company over marathon trips and performing well.

Five starts ago in September he went on to land the Group Two Doncaster Cup over 2m2f, but then went to Ascot on Champions Day and could only finish seventh in the Long Distance Cup ran on soft ground.

That bad run can be put down to a blip and not having his ground and he bounced back to form next time out in Saudi Arabia when a good second in a handicap over 1m7f.

He has since been seen again in Meydan finishing a fair fifth in the Group Two Dubai Gold Cup behind the smart Subjectivist and last time out gave one of his best runs of his career to take the Yorkshire Cup.

The gelding stays well, handles faster ground better than soft so will not want much rain, but seems to be in the form of his life and can't be discounted.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/11/21FLE16Gd9-03
20/08/21YOR16.5GF9-32
17/06/21ASC20GF9-23
14/05/21YOR14Gd9-41
27/03/21MEY16Gd9-15
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
10(11)
Seamie Heffernan

Santiago

J:
 
Seamie Heffernan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 114
Days: 34

The four year old son of Derby winner Authorized really burst onto the racing scene last year having landed both his contests in fine style starting with a dominating display in the Queen’s Vase at this meeting last term.

He then dropped back two furlongs to contest the Irish Derby at the Curragh last Saturday and he managed to stay the trip the best of the pack just fending off stablemate Tiger Moth to take the Classic honours.

After landing his first Group One event, Santiago was tried at two miles for the first time in his career next time out at Goodwood and was outclassed by Stradivarius.

On his final start last term in the Group One St Leger at Doncaster finishing fourth behind the likes of Galileo Chrome, Berkshire Rocco and Pyledriver.

Back for his seasonal debut he finished fourth at Navan over 1m6f in the Group Three Vintage Crop and then last time out was seen finishing a close up second behind Spanish Mission in the Yorkshire Cup.

He needs to reverse that form with Andrew Balding's horse and also step up massively for the extra trip, overall he has it all to do.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/07/21GOO16Sft9-94
17/06/21ASC20GF9-17
14/05/21YOR14Gd9-12
25/04/21NAV14Gd9-104
12/09/20DON14.5Gd9-14
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
11(3)
Ryan Moore

Serpentine

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 119
Days: 25

Aidan O'Brien's Derby winner Serpentine faces an almighty hike in trip going from running over 1m2f-1m4f and now going 2m4f.

The son of Galileo was a shock winner of the Derby this season when only breaking his maiden a few weeks before the Epsom Classic contest and then under a front running ride by Emmet McNamara landed the Group One by just under six lengths.

From there he could only manage fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris behind stablemate Mogul and again was a fair fourth on his last run of the season in the Group One British Champion Stakes.

He returned this term in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup and badly needed the run when only beating one home and chucking him in this race just seems to be trial and error.

Opposed.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/07/21GOO16Sft9-96
17/06/21ASC20GF9-18
23/05/21CUR10.5Sft/Hy9-57
17/10/20ASC10Sft9-14
13/09/20LON12Gd9-34
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
13(5)
J M Sheridan

Princess Zoe

J:
 
J M Sheridan
T:
 
Anthony Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 8-13
OR: 108
Days: 43

Princess Zoe really made a name for herself last term having made a massive rise through the ranks from a horse off a mark of 64 to now winning Group One events.

Having moved over to Tony Mullins' yard from Germany this year, the handler did not know what to expect with the mare and in June she was sent to Navan where she finished a good second in a handicap event.

She then headed to the Curragh where she broke her duck in Ireland winning another good handicap and then raced three straight times at Galway and won all he races landing four straight races in a row and becoming a specialist at the track.

Having never raced further 1m4f, stepping up a mile looked strange but it was a genius stroke by the handler as late on in the day the mare managed to stay on best of all to land the event, to the delight of her connections and trainer.

The six-year-old was bidding for a sixth successive win on her return to Paris for the Prix Royal-Oak and although not going on to win, she was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind the Mark Johnston-trained Subjectivist, who she faces again here.

Both of her runs this term have been below par, with Mullins trialling her over lesser trips, but having her best form over today's trip could make her interesting.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/21LON20VSft8-135
13/08/21CUR14Y9-82
17/06/21ASC20GF8-132
05/05/21GOW14Y9-94
03/04/21COR12Y9-99
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
9(13)
Gavin Ryan

Emperor Of The Sun

J:
 
Gavin Ryan
T:
 
Donnacha Aidan O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 113
Days: 34

Emperor Of The Sun for Donnacha O'Brien has managed to get his form back on track having been underwhelming at the back end of last term.

Having ran to a fair standard over staying trips last term, he returned this season at Navan over 14f and was a good third behind Baron Samedi, who has since franked the form in America.

O'Brien's gelding also franked that race at Leopardstown last time out when beating the likes of Search For A Song and Twilight Payment in a Listed event.

This step up in trip and grade requires a lot more, but it does look as though she might improve again.

Needs a career best.

Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
1(9)
Ben Curtis

Nayef Road

J:
 
Ben Curtis
T:
 
Mark Johnston
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 111
Days: 21

The five year old son of Galileo was stepped up to the staying division last season having finished a close third in the Group One St Leger back in 2019.

In June 2020 the 100,000gns purchase made his seasonal debut in this race at Newcastle and went on to take it in fine style.

He then went into the this race at Royal Ascot and he finished a good second behind Stradivarius, with the superstar stayer giving arguably the performance of his career.

It was a case of playing second fiddle to Gosden's staying star once more in the Goodwood Cup and he ended the term at York in the Group Two Lonsdale Cup when a close third behind Enbihaar.

The gelding made his seasonal debut at Ascot in the Group Three Sagaro Stakes and not for the first time he chased home Stradivarius into third.

Since then he has been seen putting in two below par performances when finishing last of five in the Yorkshire Cup and then last time out only beating one home at Sandown in the Henry II Stakes.

Has it all to do, but did enjoy this extra trip last year.

Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
6(7)
Tom Marquand

Twilight Payment

J:
 
Tom Marquand
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 8
Weight: 9-2
OR: 116
Days: 34

The veteran Twilight Payment has seen it all over similar trips, with his best performance of his career coming down under in November when taking the 23 runner Group One Melbourne Cup.

Having landed numerous Listed and Group events over marathon distances throughout his career, he has the experience to get in the places, but now at the age of eight he may not be the force of old.

This term he has been seen twice, finishing third in the Group Two Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh over 1m2f and then back up in trip to 1m6f last time out he was a well beaten third behind Emperor Of The Sun.

Has it all to do.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/11/21FLE16Gd9-20
12/09/21CUR14Gd9-112
13/08/21CUR14Y9-111
17/06/21ASC20GF9-29
14/05/21LEO14Gd/Y9-123
Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
7(2)
Wayne Lordan

Amhran Na Bhfiann

J:
 
Wayne Lordan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 109
Days: 34

This four year old is a very interesting character at a big price costing 1.3 million Guineas as a yearling and always showing glimpses of that ability.

On his third start of his career he was seen finishing a decent third in the Group One Epsom Derby behind stablemate Serpentine at odds of 66/1.

He finished second after that at Navan in a Maiden and was then off the track for a long time having suffered a fracture in one of his legs.

He returned in April at Dundalk and managed to break his maiden tag in fine style winning over 12f by 13 lengths, but last time out when stepped up to Listed company was below par.

He has to reverse the form with some lesser rivals in this field and the trip is a big question mark.

Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
2(1)
James Doyle

Rip Van Lips

J:
 
James Doyle
T:
 
Andreas Suborics
Age: 5
Weight: 9-2
OR: 107
Days: 39

The unknown Rip Van Lips is a big 80/1 outsider for German trainer Andreas Suborics and it would not be surprise to see him outrun his odds.

Having made his seasonal debut in a Listed event over 1m7f and finishing a fair fourth to blow the cobwebs away, he then used that to land a decent Group Two event over two miles.

The further he has gone the better he has become and he may just have the stamina edge over some of these in the field.

He will need a big career best and has never proved it at the top level, but there are worse 80/1 shots to land a place.

Ascot - June 16 2021
Ascot 15:15
8(12)
Graham Lee

Ben Lilly

J:
 
Graham Lee
T:
 
David Brown
Age: 4
Weight: 9-1
OR: 92
Days: 35

The final runner of the race is Ben Lily for David Brown with this 150/1 shot looking to have next to no chance in this field.

Having been running in handicaps and lately not to a high standard, he looks out of place stepping up to this Group One and he is very much unproven at the trip.

Opposable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/01/22TAU16.5Sft11-34
18/09/21AYR13Gd9-34
06/09/21NCS16.5St10-09
13/07/21BEV16Sft10-04
17/06/21ASC20GF9-10

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