ThoroughBred Racing

Royal Ascot preview: G1 Gold Cup headlines Day 3

Royal Ascot preview: G1 Gold Cup headlines Day 3

Race 1, G2 Norfolk S., (5 furlongs) 1000m – 11.30pm AEST (2.30pm local)

Prizemoney: £62,381 (AU$117,300)

The 2-year-olds kick off proceedings on Day 3 and not only is a Group 2 up for grabs, a ‘Win and You’re In’ ticket to November’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is also on the table.

Darley resident Brazen Beau, who ran second in the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. at Royal Ascot in 2015, sired the winner of this race last year – The Ridler (GB). The Brazen Beau colt was ridden by Paul Hanagan for Richard Fahey and that duo teamed to take out the Group 2 sprint 12 months earlier with Perfect Power (Ire) (Ardad {Ire}).

Fahey has the outsider Malc (GB) (Calyx {GB}) – a stylish winner on debut at Carlisle – here. Oisin Orr stays in the saddle of the close relation to Hearts Of Fire (GB) – the Champion 2YO Colt in Italy and Germany in 2009.

Remarkably, the great Lester Piggott won this race nine times, while Frankie Dettori boasts a quartet of triumphs. The Italian legend may well add to his tally aboard George Weaver’s US raider No Nay Mets (Ire) – an impressive victor on debut at Gulfstream Park in May, who is related to Pour Moi (Ire) – a Group 1 hero and sire of the 2016 G1 JJ Atkins scorer Sacred Elixir (NZ), among others.

No Nay Mets is a son of No Nay Never (USA) and he himself won this race under Joel Rosario for Wesley Ward back in 2013.

Ward has one runner this year – the blueblood Stonestreet Stables homebred colt American Rascal (USA) (Curlin {USA}) – a son of the brilliant Lady Aurelia (USA) (Scat Daddy {USA}) – who herself chalked up two Group victories at Royal Ascot during her glittering career.

American Rascal hacked up by 10.5l in maiden company at Keeneland in April and will be handled by Rosario.

The pre-post favourite is Elite Status (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) – a 5l winner of the Listed National S. at Sandown at his second and most recent appearance. The Karl Burke-trained colt’s two victories have been by a combined 8l.

Dotted among Elite Status’ pedigree is Rostropovich (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) – who raced in Australia and was fifth in the 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup after winning in Group 2 class in Europe, as well as the elite-level scorer Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}), who goes around later in the G1 Gold Cup.

Paddy Twomey’s Noche Magica (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) was an impressive maiden winner at Cork and was far from disgraced when third in the G3 Marble Hill S. at the Curragh last month.

Aidan O’Brien has won the race twice, most recently with Sioux Nation (USA) in 2017, who stood one season in Australia, and the Irishman saddles the Listed victor and Group 3 placegetter His Majesty (Ire). The No Nay Never colt is from a Group 3 winner in Czabo (GB) (Sixties Icon {GB}) and will be ridden by Ryan Moore.

Australian stallion Starspangledbanner, who returns to the Coolmore roster in 2023, has the comfortable Naas debut winner Devious (GB) representing him. The colt is out of the stakes performer Federation (GB) (Motivator {GB}) and she herself is a half-sister to the great Attraction (GB) (Efisio {GB}) – a multiple top-level victress and Europe’s Champion Filly in 2003.

Another Australian sire with a runner is Darley’s champion Exceed And Excel. His son Mon Na Slieve (Ire) showed good speed to win over this trip at York in May.

Dual-hemisphere Group 1 hero State Of Rest (Ire), who will stand his first season in Australia at Newgate Farm this spring, features on Mon Na Slieve’s page.

Race 3, G2 Ribblesdale S., (1 mile, 4 furlongs) 2400m – 12.40am AEST (3.40pm local)

Prizemoney: £133,765 (AU$251,600)

A quality crop of 3-year-old fillies will be looking to add their name to an honour roll that includes Alydaress (USA) (Alydar {USA}), Phantom Gold (GB) (Machiavellian {USA}), Bracelet (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Star Catcher (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).

In 2022, Jessica Harrington’s Magical Lagoon (Ire) made it three wins for the great Galileo (Ire). Harrington has outsider Village Voice (GB) (Zarak {Fr}) – a Listed victress – in this year’s edition.

John Gosden is a three-time winner of the race and he, along with son Thady, will send out three fillies, all by Frankel (GB) – Al Asifah (GB), Lmay (Ire) and Ghara (GB).

John and Thady Gosden | Image courtesy of Emma Berry

The Shadwell homebred Al Asifah is two from two and won as she pleased in Listed class at Goodwood last time out. The filly, who has the services of Jim Crowley, is closely related to Awtaad (Ire) and he is the sire of this year’s G3 JRA Plate scorer Diamil (Ire).

Dettori has made this race his own, winning it no less than eight times, with his most recent triumph being aboard Frankly Darling (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in 2020. He rides the Juddmonte homebred, Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking (GB) (Camelot {GB}) – a Salisbury novice winner on debut who was touched off by the Coolmore-owned Warm Heart (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) – who she meets again here – in Listed company at Newbury last start.

Bluestocking is from Emulous (GB) (Dansili {GB}) – the Champion Older Female in Ireland in 2011.

 

O’Brien has three Ribblesdale trophies in his cabinet and he has two chances to add a fourth – Warm Heart and Red Riding Hood (Ire) (Justify {USA}).

Warm Heart, who will be partnered by Moore, is out of Sea Siren (Fastnet Rock) – a three-time Group 1 heroine in Australia who was purchased privately by Coolmore in 2013. That makes Warm Heart a sister to the stakes performer Celestial Object (Ire), while other notable performers on the filly’s page include the G2 Matamata Breeders’ S. heroine Lady Dehere (Dehere {USA}), this year’s G1 Robert Sangster S. victress Ruthless Dame (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) and the Group 3 winner and Group 2-producing sire Oratorio.

Wayne Lordan will partner Red Riding Hood and the Group 3 placegetter hails from a wonderful family, with her dam, Ballydoyle (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), successful at the highest level and France’s Champion 2YO Filly in 2015. Red Riding Hood is closely related to the Group 1 winners U S Navy Flag (USA) – who now stands at The Oaks Stud in New Zealand), Misty For Me (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Roly Poly (USA) (War Front {USA}).

Sir Michael Stoute won the race back in 2003 with Spanish Sun (USA) (El Prado {Ire}) and his lone runner, Infinite Cosmos (Ire), shouldn’t be underestimated. The Sea The Stars (Ire) filly broke the ice at Newmarket on May 5, before placing third in the G3 Musidora S. at York a fortnight later.

Infinite Cosmos (Ire) | Image courtesy of Emma Berry

Infinite Cosmos is out of the Listed victress Waila (GB) (Notnowcato {GB}) and is closely related to the Group 1 winners Crystal Ocean (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and Hillstar (GB).

Australian Bloodstock (and Peter Jensen) is represented by Understated (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) – a close relation to the Group 1 scorers Bianca Nera (GB) (Salse {USA}) and Postponed (Ire) – but she looks tested.

Race 4, G1 Gold Cup, (2 miles, 4 furlongs) 4000m – 1.20am AEST (4.20pm local)

Prizemoney: £340,260 (AU$639,000)

Often a pointer to the G1 Melbourne Cup, there has been many multiple winners of this top-flight staying test, including Sagaro (GB), Le Moss (ire), Ardross (GB), Drum Taps (USA), Royal Rebel (GB), Yeats (Ire) and Stradivarius (Ire).

Piggott notched an incredible 11 wins in the race, including three aboard Sagaro.

Master trainer Aidan O’Brien is gunning for his ninth success and he is represented by Emily Dickinson (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Broome.

Moore’s mount Emily Dickinson is a Group 3 scorer, but was unplaced when sent out as an odds-on favourite in G3 Levmoss S. at Leopardstown last month. She is from Ireland’s Champion 3YO Filly in 2013, the Group 1 heroine Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), and is closely related to Magic Wand.

Broome, meanwhile, has Wayne Lordan up and brings good form to the contest, having won the G2 Dubai Gold Cup in March, before finishing third in the G2 Yorkshire Cup S. last month.

The Andrew Balding-trained Coltrane (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) – a grandson of the Group 1 victress Hula Angel (USA) (Woodman {USA}) – was utterly devastating at his seasonal debut here in the G3 Sagaro S. He has the services of Oisin Murphy and looks as though he will take all the beating.

Roger Varian looks to have a live chance in the form of last year’s G1 St Leger S. hero Eldar Eldarov (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). The 4-year-old is out of a very good mare, All At Sea (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), making him a half-brother to the stakes performer Kingswood (GB) (Roaring Lion {GB}), while his second dam, Albanova (GB) (Alzao {USA}), was a Champion Stayer and multiple Group 1 heroine.

The Gosdens and Dettori will team up with the unbeaten Courage Mon Ami (GB) (Frankel {GB}), who rises in class but possesses plenty of ability. He is a half-brother to Astronomos (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) – the winner of the 2017 Listed Randwick City S. when in the care of John Thompson.

Godolphin’s G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf victor Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) should be better for his first-up fourth in the G3 Al Rayyan S. at Newbury last month. He is from the Listed scorer Rumh (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}), making him a brother to the multiple Group 1 star Wild Illusion (GB).

Charlie Johnston’s Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) ended Stradivarius’ stranglehold on the Gold Cup when galloping to a 5l romp 2021, but a career-threatening injury has limited him to just two runs since.

Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) can never be discounted and boasts a Group 1 triumph over this trip in France in 2021, but his last run in the Sagaro was pretty plain.

His close relation, True Marvel (Fr) (Masked Marvel {GB}), is raced in Australia by Darby Racing and partners and ran second in this year’s G1 Sydney Cup.

 

Race 6, G3 Hampton Court S., (1 mile, 2 furlongs) 2000m – 2.35am AEST (5.35pm local)

Prizemoney: £85,0650 (AU$175,600)

It’s a very open and even edition of this Group 3 event, which both O’Brien and Moore have won on four occasions.

Glass Harmonium (Ire) was first home in 2009 and he went on to claim the G1 Mackinnon S. two years later. The grey stallion is the sire of the Group 3 winner Aurora’s Symphony, among others.

Time Test (GB), who now stands at Little Avondale Stud, was the winner in 2015, while the 2020 champion was Russian Emperor (Ire) – a son of Galileo and the great Australian mare Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock).

O’Brien and Moore have a strong chance in the shape of the Group 3 winner Drumroll (Ire). He is by the legendary Deep Impact (Jpn), from the Group 1 victress Maybe (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), making him a brother to the multiple top-level scorer and Group 1-producing sire Saxon Warrior (Jpn).

The Gosdens have Epictetus (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) and Torito (GB) (Kingman {GB}), with Dettori on the former and Benoit De La Sayette booked for the latter.

Epictetus is a Listed winner that ran fifth in both the G2 Dante S. and G1 Prix Du Jockey Club. He is from the stare mare Thistle Bird (GB) (Selkirk {GB}), making him a half-brother to the Group 3 victress Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}) and the Chris Waller-trained stakes performer Bullfinch (GB) (Kodiac {GB}).

Torito, who is bred in the purple, won as he pleased at Epsom on Derby Day and looks to have plenty of upside.

The Godolphin homebred Bold Act (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}), who was recently gelded, turned in a strong showing at Newbury and is likely to have his share of admirers. The Charlie Appleby-trained runner will be handled by William Buick and that duo teamed to win the race in 2016 with Hawkbill (USA).

Roger Varian’s Exoplanet (Fr) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) has been knocking on the door and looks up to this class. He is out of a half-sister to the multiple top-flight heroine Legatissimo (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and she was named Europe’s Champion 3YO Filly in 2015.

Bolster (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) is unbeaten in two starts, and while he rises sharply in grade, he is untapped. His dam is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner-turned-sire Danadana (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

Bon Ho, who is well-known to the Australasian audience, being the owner of, among others, the 2020 The Everest hero Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt), has Canberra Legend (Ire) (Australia {GB}) going around. He won his first two outings, before failing in the Dante.

Canberra Legend is from an unraced Fastnet Rock mare who is a half-sister to three stakes winners.