The Battle Royale Continues Today

Day 3 of Royal Ascot - 15h30 is start time

Day 3 of the Royal Ascot meeting today sees the running of the festival highlight, the Ascot Gold Cup, this afternoon at 17h25.

The gruelling 2-mile, four-furlong Group 1 has ten runners competing for the £368,615 first prize.

Track conditions are likely to remain fast (good to firm), so previous staying great, the veteran Trueshan maybe a no-show, but the field is packed with the best stayers around.

O’Brien’s favourite Kyprios – hard to beat! (Pic - Royal Ascot)

O’Brien’s favourite Kyprios – hard to beat! (Pic – Royal Ascot)

Aidan O’Brien’s star Kyprios is currently odds-on for the marathon event, a race he won in 2022 to kickstart a run of four successive Group One victories.

He sustained an injury early last season which kept him off the track until the Irish St Leger in September, when he finished second before being narrowly beaten in the Long-Distance Cup on Champions Day. On that occasion the re-opposing Trawlerman, under an inspired Frankie Dettori, found more after being headed in the final half furlong to deny him.

O’Brien is happy to have had an uninterrupted start to this campaign, with Kyprios winning the Vintage Crop Stakes and Saval Beg this season. On current form, he looks hard to beat.

Over the extra six-furlongs, and considering the fast ground, Trawlerman’s stablemate Gregory is seen as the favourite’s biggest threat.

The Gosden trained four-year-old won the Queen’s Vase at this meeting last year and ran a fair race on his seasonal return when third in the Yorkshire Cup last month. That run should have him spot-on, and he looks the most progressive and unexposed runner in the field.

Willie Mullins, who was successful on day 1 with Belloccio in the Copper Horse, runs Vauban. A Triumph Hurdle winner, he landed a handicap at this meeting 12 months ago before an unsuccessful run in the Melbourne Cup. His master trainer is up-beat about his chances, and he must be considered for each-way players.

Willie Mullins is upbeat about Vauban’s prospects

Willie Mullins is upbeat about Vauban’s prospects (Pic – Royal Ascot)

Also, on Thursday, 13 three-year-old fillies line up at the mile and a half start for the Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes (16h45). Three filles from the Oaks reoppose with Ralph Beckett’s You Got To Me, who finished fourth way clear of the other two.

The daughter of Nathaniel is an 8/1 shot along with O’Brien’s unexposed Australia filly Port Fairy as all the money has come for the unbeaten Godolphin runner Diamond Rain from the Charlie Appleby stable.

She won the Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury last month beating another talented filly Ejaabiyah convincing. The runner-up bolted up at Salisbury over the weekend to confirm the form. By Oaks winner Dancing Rain, the Charlie Appleby filly should stay unbeaten.

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