It is hard to see Stradivarius winning consecutive Gold Cups at Royal Ascot 2019 after looking at what the John Gosden-trained horse is up against.
Aidan O’Brien has trained seven winners in Royal Ascot’s feature race and is represented by Flag Of Honour, Capri and Cypress Creek, who are all priced at double-digits.
Stradivarius, who is aiming for a seventh successive win, would not have wanted the soft ground that Ascot had late on Tuesday and throughout Wednesday, but Thursday’s dry forecast may give him the conditions it needs.
History was made in 2013 when Estimate won the Gold Cup, making The Queen the first reigning monarch to own a winner in the race’s history.
Take a look through who we think you should keep an eye on today:
2:30 Norfolk Stakes
The market suggests there is little that will be able to stop Sunday Sovereign, who has twice won well in Ireland before making his British debut at Royal Ascot.
Wesley Ward and Aidan O’Brein have dominated this race in recent years, but neither trainer have a massive hopeful in this. Ward brings Maven, who should not be ruled out due to its strong pedigree and strong finishes. Additionally, connections believe this horse could be a good marketing tool for the stallion, American Pharaoh. Five furlongs at Ascot is where Ward is at his best.
Meanwhile, O’Brien enters Mount Fuji and King Neptune.
3:05 Hampton Court Stakes
O’Brien has had three consecutive beaten favourites in this race but his leading contender, Cape Of Good Hope, is priced behind favourite Fox Chairman. The Andrew Balding-trained three-year-old is untested at the top level and is not the best value in a crowded field.
3:40 Ribblesdale Stakes
Sir Michael Stoute-trained Queen Power goes up against the more seasoned Fleeting. Fleeting finished a good third in the Oaks at Epsom after a disastrous seasonal return.
4:20 Gold Cup
There is not much to say against Stradivarius, he’s a good stayer and does enough to keep itself competitive, it’s just a less enticing bet this year given the better field. Last year was not the strongest Gold Cup and this year appears to be quite a bit stronger. An each-way alternative might be the way to go here as it would not be a real surprise if Stradivarius was beaten.
Capri offers good each-way value and could improve after disappointing last time out at Leopardstown having stumbled its way through a return run. There’s definitely more to come and O’Brein knows this is a Gold Cup horse in the making.
Cross Counter impressed by winning the Dubai Gold Cup in March and won the Melbourne Gold Cup in November, there’s definitely the quality here to win the spoils at Ascot.
5:00 Britannia Stakes
Awe impressed at Newmarket and always looks a runner with a lot of ability. He’s strong in stature and has form on soft and good to firm ground. Three runs in a month may be the only thing going against it.
5:35 King George V Stakes
Aidan O’Brien highly-rates Constantinople, who faces tough competition from Sir Ron Priestley and Sinjaari in a very open field to conclude the day.