Royal Ascot Gold Cup 2020 – star stayer Stradivarius bids for majestic hat-trick

Stradivarius sets the form standard but might be undone by the trip.Stradivarius sets the form standard but might be undone by the trip.

The Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup is seen as the feature race of the meeting and has thrown up some memorable clashes through the years, with the battle between Big Orange and Order Of St George one of the more recent to live in the memory. Royal Ascot racegoers could be in for another treat this time around with superstar Stradivarius bidding for a third win in a row but there are some young pretenders out to steal his crown. Check out Christopher Loader’s thoughts here . . . 

Ascot Gold Cup 2020 key contenders

The obvious starting point is the reigning champion Stradivarius, who aims to win his third consecutive Gold Cup. He has been the king of the staying division for the last two seasons but finally lost his winning streak on Champions Day at Ascot to Kew Gardens. He’s had a prep run in the rearranged Group 1 Coronation Cup at Newmarket and finished a respectable third over a trip shorter than ideal. The son of Sea The Stars is the one to beat but he faces his toughest assignment yet amidst the Ascot day 3 tips.

Ascot Gold Cup 2020 Ballydoyle stars

But for those looking to take him on and seeking other Royal Ascot betting tips,  it appears the might of Ballydoyle look to hold the aces with Kew Gardens their number one contender. He ended the winning streak of Stradivarius on Champions Day at Ascot under a perfectly timed ride by Donnacha O’Brien. That was a career best effort from the son of Galileo and he’d previously won the St Leger at Doncaster so he always demonstrated that he has an abundance for stamina. My only concern is whether he will be fit enough on his likely seasonal appearance.

Anthony Van Dyck could be an interesting candidate to boost Aidan O’Brien’s impressive Royal Ascot Gold Cup record if given the chance. He won the Derby last year in a thrilling finish but found life a little tough after. However, he ran a blinder on his seasonal reappearance and was a major eyecatcher running on astrongly in the final furlong behind Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup. He has a chance if his stamina lasts.

Ascot Gold Cup 2020 Best of the rest

Technician has been spoken highly of by his trainer Martyn Meade for this race and it could be using some of your Royal Ascot free bets in markets withoiut the favourite. The son of Masterscraftsman won the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp last time out beating Call The Wind.  The key to him could well be soft ground.

Call The Wind boosted that form by winning the Saudi Cup and scoring in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville at Deauville. The French raider could make an appearance but Freddy Head is reported to be not keen on the idea and his six-year-old doesn’t have the turn of foot compared to those more fancied in the betting.

Cross Counter is Godolphin’s best hope in this race for Charlie Appleby but he will have plenty of improvement to find being beaten by Stradivarius twice. Last time we saw him he was a disappointing favourite in the Saudi Cup finishing in fifth and those watching the race on Ascot’s live streaming service may be looking for him out the back of the television screen.

But this race could well be a Champions Day rematch between Stradivarius and Kew Gardens. The difference between them will be who is fitter and that’s why I’m siding with the defending champion Stradivarius to retain his Ascot Gold Cup crown.