aAn unexpected obstacle emerged on Friday between Stradivarius and a record-equaling fourth Ascot Gold Cup win next week, when Aidan O’Brien added Serpentine, the easy winner of the 2020 derby in Epsom last July, to the field for the royal encounter. A special event in the supplementary phase of £30,000.
The Gold Cup was seen as an obvious target for the derby winner in his four-year season throughout the 19th century, when turf legends including The Flying Dutchman (1850), Triple Crown winner West Australia (1854) and Gladiateur (1866) ) was among the horses that completed the Epsom-Ascot double.
The two-and-a-half-mile Ascot contest had steadily fallen out of favor as the classic winner’s target after World War I, however, if wartime winners were discounted at Newmarket, the persimmon, in 1897, was the last colt to win both races in their traditional venues.
Last summer’s Serpentine derby was one of the strangest renewals in recent years, with Emmet McNamara running with a 25-1 chance and still five and a half years ahead on the goal line after trying a better opponent. In vain to bridge the gap. He has failed to back up his classic success in three straight games and next Thursday’s race will be a huge step in the journey for Galileo’s son – born 2016 Gold Cup winner, the Order of St George – who has been submitted to betting around 14-1. Stradivarius is the player of choice even for the money, while the four-year-old self, the impressive winner of the Dubai Gold Cup in March, is her main competitor in the market with a 6-1 score.
John Gosden, who coaches Stradivarius with his son Taddy, said Friday that his sprinter was in poor health before attempting to emulate Yates as four times to win the Gold Cup.
“He’s trying to get five wins in a row [at Royal Ascot, having won the Queen’s Vase in 2017] It’s a stocky horse, Josden said, not a castrated.
“Geldings can race a lot longer because they don’t suffer from the distractions in life. This boy is an absolute riot to be around, he’s always been very entertaining with a great personality. I tend to let him enjoy himself and as long as he’s enjoying himself, that’s all that matters.”
“He can act really badly and think he’s in the cover shed and not at the racetrack, but when it comes to racing he tends to start and stand there and look at them and say, ‘Okay, work needs to be done, let’s go’.”
Josden Stable wasn’t saddled with a single runner at the two-day derby meeting in Epsom last weekend, but he will send several strong contenders to Royal Ascot including Palace Pier, opening chances of winning the Queen Anne Stakes, and Lord North, who will try to replicate Last year’s success in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
His stable jockey, Frankie Dettori, will battle most of the main contenders from Gosden Arena, who sealed the Royal Meeting’s best jockey award for the seventh time with a hat-trick at the late afternoon of 2020.
“He’s an exceptional athlete,” Josden said of the 50-year-old. “It is natural that he is more selective [now], there is no point in thinking that if you have spent your afternoon in Brighton he is the man to be sent there, because he is not. He keeps it for big occasions.”
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The heritage handicap of the seventeen runners on Saturday for three-year-olds in York is the perfect way to cope with the tougher challenges at Royal Ascot next week.
The speed seems to be in medium to high stalls, which may give rapid improvement shualong (3.40), Winner of Knavesmire last fall, perfect draw. Pony Tim Easterby was a ready-made winner at the Chester’s May meeting as well, and had better come in after just five starts.
Chester 1.40.00000 The ground was soft in Haydok last month when Havagomeca She put in an improved performance to get rid of the mark on the lawn, but her work suggests that she will move forward faster. She had to wait for a gap before she chose the leader at an amazing speed and could repeat the trick by chasing down a potential speed maker, Rebel At Dawn.
York 2.00 Arctic fox He won this race with something to spare for his 84 mark in 2019 but dropped to 77 two years later after failing to add that success. He switched to the stable of Martin Todointer over the winter, however, and his Ayr run last hinted at a potential revival with his repeat Saturday race win a clear target.
Sandown 2.15.0 Update Atalis Bay There was no match for Winter Power in York last time around, but the winner there is the runner-up to the Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, and Marco Potti’s colt has nothing of the sort to worry about today.
York 2.35 It’s been almost a year since then talented ruler He gave his best career performance to finish a short second at Newmarket so his fitness should be assured. However, he has a lot to recommend other than that, and is open to further progress having been honored in the meantime.
Sandown 2.50.00 Update insistence He has yet to add to his Newmarket Nursery win in September 2019 from the 80 mark in four attempts, but he is now 1 pound higher in weights and should be sharper after his first 10-month start in May.
York 3.05 A disappointing field for a £22,000 race even though the four runners go to post with a chance. Roberto Escobar He has only four runs behind him and must improve to make his comeback at Ascot last month.
Chester 3.20 The market leaders showed their best form with plots, so it might be worth the luck side shot To bounce back from disappointing runs go to Haydock. Classic Lords, the favorite here, had a 19 lengths ahead of him there, but Doncaster’s Side Shot comeback was much better and looks like a value bet at around 11-2.