LADIES’ DAY at Royal Ascot is the highlight of the week for many people with the Gold Cup at the very centre of it. It’s a race I’ve always loved and was lucky enough to win two times.
Whoever wins that race this year will need class, guts and determination to battle up the hill and it’s going to be a great watch.
Sunday Sovereign is the standout horse in this race, particularly after Arizona won the Coventry Stakes. This horse beat Arizona at the Curragh and then went and followed up Tipperary so the form is rock solid. I was very impressed with him last time. His trainer Paddy Twomey used to prepare horses for the breeze up sales and now does really well with the horses he has in training. I think he’s going to be difficult to beat.
This is a race for improvers in my opinion. You always want to try and find the horse on the up and that horse look to be Headman. I was really impressed with him at Newbury when he beat a horse called Sinjaari, who I really fancy for the King George V Stakes. Cape Of Good Hope is another one to keep an eye on dropping in grade, but Headman is the one for me.
Fleeting has been supplemented for this race and, like with Circus Maximus earlier in the week, I think Ballydoyle have made a good decision here. I know they really fancy her for this race and she ran brilliantly in the Oaks last time. I think she’ll take a lot of beating but don’t rule out Frankellina. She did a serious piece of work the other day and didn’t act around Epsom in the Oaks. If there are any flaws in Fleeting then Frankellina will be the one to take advantage.
It’s always a wonderful race the Gold Cup and this year it’s between three horses: Stradivarius, Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee. Cross Counter was a horse I liked all through the winter in Dubai, as I mentioned in my Carnival blog, and he’s been training great since he’s come back. I always feel Stradivarius makes hard work of winning and just does enough, and as such I think he could be susceptible.
John Gosden loves to have a winner at Royal Ascot and he really loves to have a winner of this race because he has so many horses he can potentially run in it. Turgenev ran as a pacemaker for Too Darn Hot in the Dante and he didn’t stay the time before at Epsom. Bringing him back to the mile here looks a great move to me and I think this race looks set up for him.
He was beaten by Headman at Newbury last time and there’s no doubt he’s a Group horse. He’s been working with proper Group horses before he ran last time and they were disappointed he was beaten that day.