Frankie Dettor will again take the ride on Opinion Poll (above) in Gold CupPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Poll's price into 6-1 after team talk up Gold bid
OPINION POLL is now no bigger than 6-1 to end Ballydoyle's domination of the Gold Cup after Betfred reacted to connections' bullish comments in Sunday's Racing Post by shortening the odds on last year's Ascot runner-up.
Betfred, who had been biggest about Opinion Poll at 7-1, fell into line with many of their rivals following the Racing Post front-page story in which it was announced that Frankie Dettori would ride the recent Henry II Stakes winner and not Godolphin's Sagaro Stakes victor Colour Vision.
Asked about Opinion Poll's Sandown success, trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni said: "I think that was the best I've seen from him. To be fair, Frankie gave him a very good ride, giving the horse lots of confidence. They know each other so well and Frankie will be on the horse at Ascot."
Opinion Poll will be seeking to make it third time lucky against the Aidan O'Brien-trained Fame And Glory, who not only beat him in the Gold Cup but also on British Champions' Day back at Ascot.
Saddler's Rock, however, will be making his Ascot debut in the Gold Cup, for which he is 4-1 second favourite with Stan James after his reappearance second in Friday's Saval Beg Stakes.
Trainer John Oxx told At The Races on Sunday: "He came out of the race fine and only lost a couple of kilos. He had a nice prep race, despite the ground. It was a perfect little race for him."
Saddler's Rock rider Johnny Murtagh has been leading rider at Royal Ascot on four occasions but he can be backed at 12-1 with bet365 to capture the QIPCO-sponsored award, favourite for which is Joseph O'Brien.
The Ballydoyle stable jockey has never ridden a royal meeting winner but he is 6-4 with William Hill to end the week on top. Coral, however, offer 5-2 and place him just in front of Richard Hughes on 3-1 and Ryan Moore at 7-2.
Aidan O'Brien is 4-5 with William Hill to win the QIPCO top trainer award.
Also popular with bookmakers on Sunday was Dimension, 10-1 favourite (from 12-1) with William Hill for the Royal Hunt Cup, for which the firm cut Captain Bertie to 12-1 (from 14-1). Paddy Power trimmed Edinburgh Knight to 12-1 (from 16-1) for the same race.