After establishing himself as the top stayer of his division in recent history. STRADIVARIUS (Evs) returns to Royal Ascot in hope of matching Yeats’ record of four Ascot Gold Cups.
John & Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old has been untouchable at times during his glistening career and he produced a career-best performance in this contest 12 months ago, storming clear to claim a memorable 10-length success.
The son of Sea The Stars did have to battle with the pace on his seasonal reappearance in the Sagaro Stakes, but he did enough to get in front to win by a length.
If the seven-time Group 1 winner is at his best, it will take something truly special to beat the staying superstar.
TRUESHAN (6/1) stormed to victory on Champions Day back in October and Alan King’s gelding is partnered up with Hollie Doyle once again.
The partnership has seen them win three times in four runs, with their unbeaten streak coming to an end in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last month.
The ground is questionable for the five-year-old, but he could produce another big performance at Ascot here.
SUBJECTIVIST (7/1) delivered two big performances in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak and the Dubai Gold Cup on his last two outings but he will need to prove his stamina over a further trip here for Mark Johnston.
He is joined by stablemate and last season’s runner-up NAYEF ROAD (50/1) who will need to bounce back after two disappointing runs last month.
Aidan O’Brien has launched a triple attack on Stradivarius with last season’s Derby winner SERPENTINE (16/1), Irish Derby winner SANTIAGO (16/1) and AMHRAN NA BHFIANN (40/1) all making the trip to Berkshire for the Ballydoyle trainer.
SPANISH MISSION (14/1) could push into the frame after successes in both the Doncaster Cup and the Yorkshire Cup for Andrew Balding and Anthony Mullins’ PRINCESS ZOE (25/1) will be hoping for the heavens to open overnight.
Donnacha O’Brien’s EMPEROR OF THE SUN (25/1) is stepped up in trip while TWILIGHT PAYMENT (33/1) could prove to be serious each-way value if he can reproduce last season’s form that saw him win the Melbourne Cup for Joseph O’Brien.
Andreas Suborics’ RIP VAN LIPS (100/1) and David Brown’s BEN LILLY (200/1) complete the line-up.