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ROYAL ASCOT: Serpentine set for Gold Cup tilt as Love rules in Berkshire

Aidan O’Brien claimed his 75th Royal Ascot winner and bids for a 76th on Thursday through the 2020 Derby hero

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Ascot - Royal Ascot - Serpentine - Love - Aidan O'Brien - Derby - Oaks

The brave Love landed the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday afternoon as fellow 2020 Derby Festival star Serpentine prepares for a crack at Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup.

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Aidan O’Brien’s Oaks victor was not to be denied on her seasonal debut in Berkshire as she responded to Ryan Moore’s urges to gamely see off Breeders Cup heroine, Audarya.

WATCH: LOVE IS A GAME WINNER OF THE PRINCE OF WALES’S AT ROYAL ASCOT [CREDIT: AT THE RACES]

Stable-mate Serpentine, meanwhile, is bridged with the biggest task of his career to date as he sizes up against three-time winner Stradivarius in the Gold Cup on Thursday, bidding for a first success since his epic win on the Downs 11 months ago.

Stradivarius Ascot
Stradivarius bids for a fourth Gold Cup in a row at Royal Ascot for John & Thady Gosden

The five-and-a-half length Classic winner was supplemented for £30,000 last week by connections and Ryan Moore has duly opposed last year’s Queen Vase hero Santiago in favour of the son of Galileo.

WATCH: SERPENTINE WILL NEED TO PERFORM SIMILAR TO HIS DERBY DEMOLITION TO LAND A BLOW ON STRADIVARIUS AT ROYAL ASCOT [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Seeking a quartet of days in the sun in the Group 1 contest, the legendary Sea The Stars seven-year-old Stradivarius has never been beaten at this trip and got back to winning ways at Ascot in April following his Champions Day bust at the end of last year.

Ascot Gold Cup
Yeats is the only horse to win four renewals of the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal Meeting

He is now expected to reverse the form with Alan King’s Trueshan, who beat him out of sight at the Ascot track nine months ago, but in much deeper conditions.

John & Thady Gosden wouldn’t stand in Ballydoyle’s way on Wednesday, though, with Love’s mission made much easier by the withdrawal of 2020 Prince Of Wales’s gold medalist, Lord North.

Love Ascot
Love has now won her last four starts, dating back to the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in June 2020

The ground was deemed too quick for the charge aiming for a second victory in the race, but his absence left the door wide open for the now five-time Group 1 winner donning the infamous silks of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs John Magnier.

D8G2CH Ascot Racecourse stand, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom.
There are three days of Royal Ascot remaining after Wednesday’s proceedings

Her handler told the Racing Post in the aftermath: “We are absolutely delighted.”

“It was a little bit of a risk coming here [the] first time. Often, when you prepare them and don’t run them, it can be a little bit tricky.

Aidan O'Brien Trainer
Aidan O’Brien landed his 75th Royal Ascot success on Wednesday

“She was ready to run but wasn’t cherry ripe today. It was lovely to start her here on [the] beautiful ground. Where better to start?”

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Speaking on where racing fans can be expected to see her next after Ascot, he said: “The lads will decide what they want to do. She can go anywhere really – the King George, the Eclipse, all those types of races.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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