All eyes will turn to The Gold Cup (race five, 15:35) on Thursday, when the 2018 and 2019 winner Stradivarius will bid to complete a hat-trick of victories in Royal Ascot’s flagship race. Sagaro and Yeats (who went on to win four consecutive Gold Cups) have managed the feat in the modern era and Stradivarius will go off as a warm favorite for jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden.
The chief rivals to Stradivarius are headed by Cross Counter, who finished fourth in the 2019 Gold Cup, and Technician, who rounded off his 2019 campaign with a Group 2 and a Group 1 victory in France last autumn.
A strong field containing representatives of top connections will go to post for The Wolferton Stakes (race two, 1350). Sir Dragonet, who finished fifth in the 2019 Epsom Derby after going off favorite is joined by the likes of Regal Reality and Fox Tal, who both ran excellent races at Group 1 level last season.
The Group 3 Jersey Stakes (race three, 1425), run over seven furlongs, looks on paper to be one of the most intriguing races of the week. It features several three-year-olds who come here having run in early season Guineas in France, Britain and Ireland, in addition to the unbeaten King Leonidas and several other horses with plenty of potential for improvement.
In The Chesham Stakes (race four, 15:00), connections of the brilliant 2019 winner Pinatubo are represented by the highly-regarded Modern News. It’s a race that has produced numerous future stars and will provide the opportunity to see some of the more precocious juveniles from top yards taking the first big test of their fledgling careers.
Three valuable handicaps complete the seven-race card on Thursday, with all races broadcast live on Sky Sports Racing and six on ITV1.
Ascot Racecourse Press Release
Photo courtesy Ascot Racecourse