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Royal Ascot 2021: Day Three Betting Preview


It's Gold Cup day at Royal Ascot and history could be made as Stradivarius takes aim at a fourth successive win in the headline race. Here we provide a betting preview for all the action on day three...

15:05 Royal Ascot - Hampton Court Stakes

Mohaafeth was a late withdrawal from the Derby due to the ground and trainer William Haggas will have one eye on the weather again with a deluge of rain forecast for Thursday. If he stands his ground, he has every chance based on his taking victory in the Newmarket Stakes. 

One Ruler has struggled this season and he didn’t justify the late market support that arrived on Derby day. The rain would be to his benefit but stall one isn’t ideal. Aidan O’Brien has won two of the last three runnings and his Roman Empire is of definite interest, having looked like a surprise front-running winner of the Dante for much of the race before fading in the closing stages. 

Hugo Palmer sent The Rosstafarian over to Ireland for the Guineas and clearly still thinks a lot of him, this drop in class and step up in trip could squeeze out some more improvement, especially if the rain comes. 

However perhaps the most interesting contender is Movin Time for Roger Varian, who steps up in class markedly from a Newmarket maiden but he could hardly have been more impressive that day, winning by four lengths. Varian should know where he sits with a few of these given the exploits of his other three-year-olds this season and he makes plenty of appeal at the prices. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Movin Time
  2. Mohaafeth
  3. Roman Empire

15:40 Royal Ascot - Ribblesdale Stakes

John Gosden has won three of the last four renewals and saddles three this year, with Gloria Mundi his main chance on form having just been edged out by Eshaada last time who re-opposes here. Roger Varian’s filly remains unbeaten but has done all her winning with some give underfoot so she’s another to add to the weather watchlist. 

Our market is headed by Noon Star who didn’t take up an entry in the Oaks. Her second to Snowfall at York has been well advertised and vitally she goes on any ground and looks to be the likeliest winner of this. 

At bigger prices, the likes of Ad Infinitum and Annerville are worth a second look. The former won a Listed contest at Goodwood last time out and can progress again, especially if the rain comes. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Noon Star
  2. Eshaada
  3. Gloria Mundi

16:15 Royal Ascot - Gold Cup

This is all about Stradivarius and whether he can equal Yeats’ record of four successive Gold Cups at the grand age of seven. He readily saw off the field in the Sagaro Stakes on his reappearance but today’s opposition is a very different story and last year’s Long Distance Cup defeat is still etched in the memory. 

Trueshan was the winner that day and he ran well behind Japan at Chester last time but he’ll want the rain to materialise if he’s to put his best foot forward. Subjectivist is another who would benefit from some give but he’s still very much a danger on good ground and it’s easy to see why the market rates him as the main danger to the favourite for all that we have to take his post-Meydan fitness on trust. 

Both Serpentine and Emperor Of The Sun are fascinating contenders for Coolmore, stepping up to this trip for the first time but certainly in the case of the former, it feels a bit of a recovery mission, having not made any waves since triumphing in the 2020 Derby. 

At a much bigger price, Twilight Payment is of real interest for Joseph O’Brien. The Melbourne Cup winner lost out to the aforementioned Emperor Of The Sun last time but two miles on decent ground is very much his forte and we know the track suits based on his Queen’s Vase third when trained by Jim Bolger. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Twilight Payment
  2. Stradivarius
  3. Subjectivist 

Elsewhere on day three:

Wesley Ward saddles two speedballs in the Norfolk Stakes at 14.30 but it was hard not to be taken by Cadamosto’s performance when romping home at Dundalk and he can provide another win in the race for Aidan O’Brien.

The Brittania Stakes at 17:00 looks as fiendish a puzzle as ever with John Gosden saddling just the four runners but at a big price from a nice draw in 20, Royal Air Force is worth a second look for Simon & Ed Crisford, who won this with Ostilio in 2018. He looked a colt of real promise as a two-year-old when bolting up at York, he then disappointed a bit in the Craven and then got bogged down in heavy ground at Haydock but if the rain doesn’t get into the ground too much, he’s still totally unexposed and looks overpriced.

Air To Air is much more prominent in the betting given he’s been the darling of the Ascot preview circuit but his credentials are hard to knock and Jamie Spencer is obviously a major asset in the saddle. 

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