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Ascot Gold Cup

16:15 Royal Ascot

2022-06-16

Winner: £283550

Runners: 9

Going:Good To Firm

No. of hurdles:

Distance: 2m3f210yy

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The Ascot Gold Cup is a Group 1 contest run over 2m4f. It takes place at 16:20 on Thursday 22nd June, which is the third day of Royal Ascot 2023. View the runners here, and also make sure to check out the odds and tips on offer for this race.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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HORSE
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AGE
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OR
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RPR
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3(2)
1123-1
silk
Stradivarius

-

J: Frankie Dettori
T: John & Thady Gosden
8
9-4
118
129
Enduring star of the staying division, including with wins in this race in 2018, 2019 and 2020; 12 months ago he was 5-6 to join Yeats as the only horse to win the Gold Cup four times, but trouble in running (it's a danger with him) left him no chance with the winner and he came only fourth (Princess Zoe second); won three of his five starts since, on good to firm on first two occasions, and returns to the Gold Cup capable of another mighty shout.
2(10)
23111
silk
Earlofthecotswolds

-

J: Liam Keniry
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
8
9-4
102
115
Useful jumper (top two RPRs were at Ascot) who has done very well switched to the Flat this year, front-running for AW wins at Kempton (1m4f and 2m) and Newcastle (2m); unraced on turf under Flat rules; while this trip can suit, this is a whopping step up in class.
NR(9)
6111-1
silk
Trueshan

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T: Alan King
6
9-4
120
132
Ended 2021 with wins in the Goodwood Cup, 2m4f Prix du Cadran and British Champions Long Distance Cup, the last named (here) for a second time; clearcut reappearance winner in a Listed race ten weeks ago; has won on good going outside Group races, but best form on softer and withdrawn several times due to fast ground, including from this race last year; sets the standard on 2021 form but unlikely to run on fast ground.
1(1)
-52264
silk
Alignak

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J: Saffie Osborne
T: Jamie Osborne
6
9-4
109
126
Withdrawn the last two times he was due to race on officially good to firm, when trained by Sir Michael Stoute; used to be ridden much more prominently but he was coming from well off the pace under Saffie Osborne at Meydan early this year, including in the Dubai Gold Cup last time when widest into the straight but running on well to be an excellent fourth of 13; that was his second attempt at 2m and opens the possibility that he has more to offer as a stayer, which is needed but he's no rank outsider on Dubai evidence.
9(8)
6/112-
silk
Burning Victory

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J: William Buick
T: W P Mullins
6
9-1
106
122
Fortunate winner of the Triumph Hurdle in 2020; progressive in Flat handicaps last year, winning twice before her excellent second in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket (2m2f, good; unraced on firmer) when it looked as if this longer trip could suit her well; needs a further chunk of improvement and has not set the world alight over hurdles this year (in cheekpieces first two starts, tongue tied latest) but she can continue as a rising force on last year's Flat evidence.
10(4)
225-01
silk
Princess Zoe

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J: J M Sheridan
T: Anthony Mullins
7
9-1
113
128
Her extraordinary 2020 campaign featured a Group 1 victory over this trip in the Prix du Cadran; that and most of her wins have come in the mud but her excellent second in this race last year was on good to firm, as was her narrow Group 3 success here this April; looks set to deliver her best and that gives her major claims.
6(7)
25120-
silk
Mojo Star

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J: Rossa Ryan
T: Richard Hannon
4
9-3
116
128
Unraced on firmer than good; sole win came in a maiden last August but he ran terrific races last term when runner-up on good to soft in the Derby and St Leger; always very prominent in the latter over 14.5f and there is plenty of the stayer about him; very scopey sort who may well be open to further progress this year, so he's a major player if he stays.
5(5)
/14-11
silk
Kyprios

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J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
4
9-3
117
130
Three disappointing visits to Britain, including last year in the Lingfield Derby Trial and when upset in the stalls (withdrawn) as second favourite for the Queen's Vase at this meeting; not seen again until this season but he's been back with a bang, asserting in fine style in Listed race at Navan and thoroughly dominating when 1-10 in Group 3 at Leopardstown (both 1m6f on good; unraced on firmer); there is hugely more strength in depth to this field and he's unraced beyond 1m6f but he's brother to the Chester Cup winner Falcon Eight and has to be taken seriously for a trainer who knows all about training Ascot Gold Cup winners.
8(3)
113-26
silk
Bubble Smart

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J: Gerald Mosse
T: M Delzangles
5
9-1
108
126
Unraced on firmer than good; surged through the ranks with a hat-trick over 1m6f-1m7.5f last season; even better form next time in the Group 1 Cadran at Longchamp when upped to 2m4f, where she raced in second for a long way, well clear of the rest, then was nearly swamped by the pack before rallying into third behind Trueshan and Stradivarius; two respectable shows this term and this step back up in trip is likely to suit.
7(6)
552-53
silk
Tashkhan

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J: Ben Robinson
T: Brian Ellison
4
9-3
115
128
Made stellar progress last term, which ended with his second of ten to Trueshan in the British Champions Long Distance Cup over 2m here (good to soft) where he finished a length and a half behind the winner, rallying strongly past Stradivarius; respectable shows this term in races won by Princess Zoe here and Stradivarius at York; would probably be a lot more interesting on softer than good but he is a very strong candidate for this longer trip.

RACING POST TIP

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silk
Princess Zoe
Trueshan's likely withdrawal due to the fast ground leaves the grand old man Stradivarius as a very strong candidate. He's won three Gold Cups already and although there was a hiccup in last year's edition, he did not get the run of the race that day, left with a lot to do entering the straight, and the same can be argued for the British Champions Long Distance Cup here in October in which he finished third. PRINCESS ZOE, however, saw off Stradivarius for second 12 months ago and, like him, has warmed up in encouraging fashion this year with a win. She was once regarded as something of a mudlark but that's in the past now, following her two big runs in the last 12 months at Ascot on good to firm. Tashkhan would have been an appealing bet on good to soft or soft. Aidan O'Brien has picked out some formidable Gold Cup horses over the years and his Kyprios needs a great deal of respect after this season's two wins, but he has something to prove away from Ireland, has not been beyond 1m6f and has been priced up as a warm favourite. Mojo Star has not raced on fast ground, beyond 14.5f or in any race this season but he's a striking sort who came second in last year's Derby and St Leger, so no way is he dismissed, while Alignak looks interesting at huge odds on the Meydan evidence this March.

Verdict

Stradivarius is a very strong candidate for his fourth Gold Cup win but PRINCESS ZOE beat him last year and may do so again.

Past 10 Winners

Key race stats

  • Sire stamina index in excess of 9.5f, 10/10
  • Won within last two starts, 9/10
  • Adjusted RPR of at least 127, 9/10
  • Group-race winner, 9/10 (six had won a Group 1)
  • Won over at least 2m, 9/10
  • Rated within 5lb of RPR top-rated, 8/10 (five were top-rated)
Other factors
  • Eight winners were competing in the race for the first time (Stradavarius in 2019 and 2020 accounts for both exceptions).
  • Winners of the Sagaro Stakes finished 117273224.
  • Six favourites have won in the last decade (including one joint-favourite) but Stradivarius was the only one to have previously scored over the trip.

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