Royal Ascot 2021 – Gold Cup Ante-Post Preview and 25/1 Selection!
Gold Cup (2m4f, Thursday, June 17, 4.20pm)
Royal Ascot continues to captivate audiences worldwide, with the 2021 meeting promising to be yet another star-studded affair. With this in mind, we have decided to produce our own in-depth previews of all the big races in prospect at Royal Ascot 2021.
Here, our expert tipster has produced their ante-post preview of the Ascot Gold Cup the feature race on Day 3 of Royal Ascot. The 2021 renewal sees Stradivarius bidding to emulate the mighty Yeats by winning a fourth consecutive renewal of the world’s most famous race for stayers.
Ascot Gold Cup Ante-Post Preview
Stradivarius will quite rightly claim many of the headlines in the build-up to this year’s Gold Cup, as he bids to match the incredible record set by super-stayer Yeats. The seven-year-old is now 17 from 27 in his career, with a recent Sagaro Stakes win showing that he retains plenty of enthusiasm for the game despite his advancing years.
There are very few negatives to write about Stradivarius, with the only reason major concern revolving around tame efforts at the backend of last season – but it is fairly easy to forgive him those in account of the swap-like conditions encountered.
There seems little chance of similar ground here, and whilst he would probably prefer conditions on the quicker side, he proved his proficiency on cut when demolishing last year’s Gold Cup field on ground which was officially described as soft.
Subjectivist was a fast-improving three-year-old last year who ended his campaign with victory at Longchamp in the Group 1 Royal Oak. He returned with an impressive Group 2 win at Meydan in March.
He stays well, has a solid record fresh, and ran well at this meeting last season, so it is easy to see why he has proved so popular in the market as a viable alternative to Stradivarius – although it has perhaps overreacted by now cutting him as short as 6/1.
Trueshan marked himself down as a stayer to follow when bolting up in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day last October. He made a perfectly satisfactory return behind the classy Japan in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last month and returning to a more conventional track over a more suitable trip should be strongly in his favour.
He does make some each-way appeal at around the 15/2 mark, albeit would be going into unknown territory stamina-wise here.
Next up in the market is Ocean Wind. Very progressive over staying distances last season, Ocean Wind has run with credit in all three starts so far this campaign, finishing just a length behind Stradivarius in the Sagaro Stakes last month.
On the face of it, the price difference between the two looks slightly exaggerated purely on that running, but as Ocean Wind had a race-fitness advantage on side that day, it would be difficult to confidently back him to reverse the form in the Gold Cup.
Search For A Song is a proven Group 1 operator and has untapped potential at this distance, so may outrun her current 12/1 odds. She may prove best of the Irish challengers, with Santiago not really kicking on as expected this season.
Baron Samedi has racked up a winning sequence of late which includes Group 2 and Group 3 victories, this clearly represents a step up in class, but he may not have stopped his progression just yet.
Princess Zoe had a similar profile to Baron Samedi last season, but her two runs this campaign have left an awful lot to be desired.
Spanish Mission has done well since joining Andrew Balding with his latest Yorkshire Cup win representing a clear career-best on the figures.
Mark Johnston’s NAYEF ROAD was well held in that aforementioned Yorkshire Cup (last of five runners) yet that can’t have been his true running and he has now disappointed at York on more than one occasion (last of five runners in the 2019 Great Voltigeur) and he bounced back to finish a 40/1 3rd in the St Leger on his next run.
The market appears to have overreacted to that York run, pushing Nayef Road out to 28/1. He was a distant second to Stradivarius in this very race last year (eight lengths clear of the third), yet his two subsequent meetings with Stradivarius have resulted in narrow defeats of a length and a length and a half, so there certainly doesn’t appear to be as much between the pair as the markets currently have it.
Nayef Road’s third in the Sagaro Stakes brought his form figures at Ascot to a healthy 323, with the two previous runs both coming at the Royal Meeting, so it is clearly a track and time of year that he enjoys.
With all of this in mind, the current 25/1 quotes just look a shade too big, and therefore he looks well worth chancing.