Ascot Gold Cup Guide - 18/06/20

Stradivarius

Trainer: John Gosden

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

He is going for third successive Gold Cup and with the absence of his Champions Day conquer, Kew Gardens, this should be a formality for the champion stayer.

He has won at the last three Royal Ascot’s, winning the 2017 Queen Vase before the last two Gold Cups. He has already beaten Cross Counter on a few occasions now, including this race last year and had a preparation in the Coronation Cup.

He will be hard to beat and is a short price for another win.

Technician

Trainer: Martin Meade

Jockey: Oisin Murphy

An upcoming stayer that ended his three-year-old campaign with Group one success in France, winning the Royal Oak, a race just under two miles.

He was sixth in last years St Leger before winning his two races in France and could improve again at four and looks to be the biggest threat to Stradivarius’ crown.

There is no doubt however he will have to improve significantly to get near Stradivarius and based on his victories in France, he may require it to be soft ground.

Cross Counter

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Jockey: James Doyle

He has faced Stradivarius on two occasions, this race last year and the Goodwood Cup, beaten both times and is unlikely to reverse that form here.

He won the Melbourne Cup in 2017 and won the 2019 Dubai World Cup so is clearly talented but there is no reason to see why he would now reverse form with Stradivarius and will be one likely for the places.

Moonlight Spirit

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Jockey: William Buick

The second of the Appleby runners and even though the betting has him as the stables second string, first choice jockey William Buick opts for him instead of Cross Counter.

He was last seen finishing second in the Prix Chaudenay, behind Technican, so will need to reverse the form with him to get involved here.

He was fourth at the Royal meeting last year in the Queen’s Vase and was a Group three winner in France in September.

He could be one to improve at four, with an eye-catching jockey booking but this looks a difficult starting point for his four year old career.

Nayef Road

Trainer: Mark Johnston

Jockey: Ryan MooreAnother four-year-old who could have a future as a stayer. He was third in last year’s Leger but was well beaten in a Group three in France, finishing behind both Technician and Moonlight Spirit.

He’s a big price for this but has had a run this season, showing a game attitude to win the Sogaro Stakes at Newcastle and could be one to finish in the places but it’s difficult to see him toppling Stradivarius.

Prince of Arran

Trainer: Charlie Fellows

Jockey: Andrea Atzeni

A solid yardstick but difficult for him to be involved here, following his third to Nayef Road at Newcastle. He was also behind the less fancied Mekong in Saudi Arabia over the winter and this looks a difficult assignment.

Withhold

Trainer: Roger Charlton

Jockey: Jason Watson

He has lost his way a little and was disappointing when behind a couple of these at Newcastle. He was an impressive winner of the Northumberland Plate in 2018 and was being campaigned towards the Melbourne Cup however that did not work out. It would be a shock if he was involved here.

Mekong

Trainer: Jamie Osborne

Jockey: Jim Crowley

With Sir Michael Stoute last season, he is the whole outsider of the lot and appears to have little chance here on his first run of the season.

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