Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with bet365
The Gold Cup is Ascot’s oldest surviving race dating back to 1807 and is the most prestigious prize of the week. At 2m4f it provides a unique examination in the staying division and few horses stay that far. This year it is being run in honour of The Queen’s 90th birthday.
Order Of St George is even money favourite for a race his trainer Aidan O’Brien has won six times (from his last ten runners) and like his three winning stablemates before him – Yeats (2006-09), Fame And Glory (2011) and Leading Light (2014) – he will line up with his stamina to prove having not raced beyond 1m6f. That said, his form at that trip, which includes a wide margin winner success in the Irish St Leger last September, sets a formidable standard and, given his trainer is a master at developing top-class stayers and has prepared him for this all year, he thoroughly deserves his place at the head of the market.
Who else is fancied?
Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite is seen as the main danger by bookmakers, with quotes ranging from 7/1 to 9/1, and he’s undoubtedly the form horse after bolting up in last year’s Lonsdale Cup over 2m at York and following that up with a valiant second in the Melbourne Cup when he didn’t get the best of runs. However, he was soon beaten when finishing only third of four behind Pallasator on his Sandown return and, while the fast ground may have been a factor, it was a disappointing effort nonetheless.
Flying Officer won over 2m here on Champions Day and was entitled to need the run when a close third behind Mizzou and Clever Cookie in the Sagaro Stakes over the same course and distance on his reappearance, when giving those horses 5lb. He promises to stay this far and has done most of his winning in soft ground, but I wouldn’t be so sure of him reversing the Ascot form here. Clever Cookie is looking as good as ever at the age of eight and has his ground, while Mizzou can be expected to improve on his seventh in this 12 months ago, when he was caught out by a slow pace and ground faster than ideal.
Any decent outsiders?
Of those at 25/1 or bigger, David Simcock’s Curbyourenthusiasm makes some appeal as an unexposed stayer coming off a career-best second in the Yorkshire Cup over 1m6f. His trainer is adamant that he will be even better over further. The rest are much harder to fancy.
Best bookie offer?
Anyone looking to take on Order Of St George should head to Paddy Power as they are refunding losing stakes (as a free bet up to £25) if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite.
Who’s going to win?
Order Of St George looks the most likely winner, but the recent rain will place even more of a premium on stamina and, with his trainer expressing some concerns over that, he is opposed at his miserly price. At least he makes the market for the other runners and I’ve a feeling that this year’s Sagaro could again be the key race – it has supplied two of the last four winners. MIZZOU was all out to beat Clever Cookie, but Luca Cumani’s runner would have needed the run more and this has no doubt been the plan since last year, when he needed a stronger gallop.
Mizzou 1pt each-way @ 12/1 Paddy Power
Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with bet365