Serpentine supplemented for Gold Cup clash with Stradivarius next week
Stradivarius will have a new challenger to contend with in the Ascot Gold Cup after 2020 Derby winner Serpentine was supplemented for the Group 1 next Thursday.
The four-year-old was tailed off behind Helvic Dream in the Tattersalls Gold Cup when last seen and will now take a significant step up in trip to two miles and four furlongs.
If he does line up against Stradivarius he will become the first Derby winner since Blakeney in 1970 to run in the Ascot Gold Cup, with the last horse to win both races being Ocean Swell in 1945.
Serpentine has failed to win since Epsom and is a general 12-1 shot to topple three-time winner Stradivarius, who goes in search of a record-equalling fourth success in the race.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien said of Serpentine on Friday: "You obviously don't know whether he will stay or not, but we know he is a strong stayer over a mile and a half."
"We gave him the run at the Curragh [Tattersalls Gold Cup] knowing that this could be a possibility. It will be very interesting to see how he gets on but he's come out of the Curragh in good form and we're very happy with him.
"He's a Derby winner so he has class. The Gold Cup is obviously over an extreme distance so you can never be sure whether a horse will stay that far or not."
O'Brien now has a trio of Gold Cup possibles, and added: "Santiago and Amhran Na Bhfiann have had the Gold Cup on their agenda all year and both seem to be in very good form. We're very happy with them."
A total of 15 names remain in contention for the Gold Cup, including Subjectivist, who ran a career best in a Group 2 at Meydan when last seen in March.
The four-year-old is the clear 6-1 second favourite ahead of Trueshan, who announced himself a stayer to be taken seriously last season when winning the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day.
In the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (3.40), Noon Star, who sidestepped the Oaks in favour of Royal Ascot, remains the general 5-2 favourite ahead of the unexposed Eshaada at 7-2.
Dubai Fountain also remains in the reckoning after finishing almost 35 lengths behind Snowfall in the Oaks at Epsom last Friday.
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