A decent return on yesterday’s action, with 2 winners from the 6 races, returned at 10/3 and 11/4 in Duntle and Al Khazeem respectively, so with renewed optimism we look at Gold Cup Day. The ground is becoming faster all the time at Ascot and we are going to focus selections that have proven form on a firm surface.
2.30 – Coach House for Aidan O’Brien has improved beyond all reckoning race by race in his three runs to date and boasts the most experience and the best form in the race. Trading currently at 3/1 we reckon that’s value and crucially he has winning form on good to firm.
3.05 – Irish hope Alive Alive Oh, is an improving horse and will start favourite, but there are two major negatives against her. All her form is on a softer surface than she will encounter today and she has never tackled the mile and a half trip. She trades at around 9/4 and it's too short. At four times the price, we are going to take a chance on Riposte each way at 9/1. A winner over a mile and a half and on good to firm, Riposte has a bit to find on the book, but is worth the risk.
3.45 – Saddler’s Rock from the Curragh yard of John Oxx is the confident each way selection in the Gold Cup. The race is full of potential non stayers, yet Oxx’s charge has been there and done it and crucially was third in this race last year when the ground would not have been in his favour. Only a five-year-old, this horse is approaching his peak and we are hugely optimistic for a big run at 7/1 each way.
4.25 – Wentworth may be short, but has all the right credentials, a proven firm ground performer, improving and well handicapped. The selection met all sorts of trouble in running last time out, however that may well prove to be a blessing in disguise as he remains on a handicap mark of 92 – should win at 4/1.
5.00 - The form of Remote’s win over Baltic Knight has been posted with an impressive win, by that rival on the weekend. Nonetheless, that was in handicap company and we believe that his price is too short at 3/1. Rated some eleven pounds his superior is Shrirkapour who was last seen beaten four lengths in the French Derby. The selection is currently at 13/2 and should be an each way steal.
5.35 – Royal Skies again makes most appeal on the basis that he has winning form over trip and ground and may well improve again for this stiff test of stamina. Definitely a working man’s price at 11/1, we will try him each way to send punters home happy.