With just a month to go until the latest renewal of Royal Ascot, fans of flat racing up and down the country will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of the iconic meeting. Of course, the event took place behind closed doors during the height of the pandemic last June. However, this year fans will be welcomed back to the historic course and that will undoubtedly make for a much better festival as horses and jockeys alike revel in the atmosphere.
The Ascot Gold Cup on June 17th is the meeting’s showpiece race and punters will already be studying the form guides and keeping an eye on the horse racing betting sites — waiting for the perfect time to make their selection. So, as we count down the days to the exciting festival, let’s look at the early favourites for this year’s Ascot Gold Cup.
There’s no doubt that Stradivarius will be the name on everyone’s lips in the build up to Royal Ascot. Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori and the John Gosden-trained seven-year-old are gunning for an historic fourth-successive victory in the Group 1 race and they are the outright favourites to do so at around 6/4. Stradivarius’ form left a little to be desired towards the back end of last season, as he failed to win in three outings — his worst run of form since he started competing in 2016. However, he was back in the winners’ enclosure at Ascot last month, and that will fill his backers with confidence.
At 6/1, Subjectivist is the likeliest horse to stop Stradivarius, Dettori and Gosden from taking home a fourth Gold Cup. The Mark Johnson-trained four-year-old came home in third at 22/1 in the King George V Stakes at Ascot last summer, and went on to have a decent flat season — winning at Hamilton and Goodwood before landing the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp in Paris. He’s started this year with a victory in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan and he’s certainly in good nick to push Stradivarius all the way at Royal Ascot.
Sir Ron Priestly
Sir Ron Priestly is another horse from Johnson’s esteemed yard hoping to usurp the odds in this year’s Gold Cup. The five-year-old, who is currently 8/1, had a cracking season in 2019 — winning five of his seven races — and it looks like 571 days without a race hasn’t hampered his career as he’s back to winning ways, scooping victories at Nottingham and Newmarket already. The Gold Cup will be a step up, but don’t rule him out.
Trueshan is hot on the heels of Sir Ron Priestly at 9/1. The Alan King-trained horse was a bit of a mixed bag for the most part of last season — winning twice in four outings. However, he has looked much better since Hollie Doyle has taken the reins from Martin Harley. Doyle and the five-year-old landed a victory at 11/1 in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October but were narrowly beaten by Ryan Moore and Japan at Chester earlier this month.
The likes of Tiger Moth (10/1), Search For A Song (12/1), Ocean Wind (12/1) and Santiago (14/1) are all next in line.