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2016 Ascot Gold Cup tips - Mizzou can outstay Royal Ascot rivals to lift Thursday feature

  • MIZZOU (12/1, BetFred) can outstay rivals in Thursday's marathon Group One contest.
Mizzou (red cap) can better his run in this race 12 months ago and lift the Gold Cup on Thursday.

Brian Healy looks ahead to Thursday's Group One feature at Royal Ascot, the Gold Cup.

The feature race of the third day of Royal Ascot on Thursday is the Group One Ascot Gold Cup, which gets underway at 4.20pm as the fourth race on the top-class card.

The marathon 2m 4f trip is sure to get plenty of getting in some tough and testing conditions, but the race has attracted a typically strong entry, and as many as 18 runners could face the starter for the classy contest.

Aidan O’Brien is no stranger to success in this contest, and the Ballydoyle maestro is responsible for the race-favourite, Order Of St George (11/10, Coral), who comes into the race as a four-time winner which includes the Group One Irish St Leger where he ran out a facile wide-margin victor over Agent Murphy and others.

The Galileo colt was a winner on his seasonal return, beating Fact Or Folklore at Leopardstown earlier in June in a Listed contest, and he looks sure to be a popular choice with punters. 

A winner on soft ground as a juvenile, he has to go much further than he has ever done before stepping up considerably in trip, and so his stamina needs to be taken on trust; this is going to take plenty of getting, and while he hasn’t looked short of stamina over shorter in racking up his four-timer, this longer trip in the ground is a huge unknown and at such skinny odds he may be worth opposing.

Clever Cookie should relish this searching test of stamina.

The ground will pose no issue for Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie (10/1, Bet365) who continues to prove a reliable and progressive sort, getting back on the scoresheet when landing the Group Two Yorkshire Cup on his latest start.

The Primo Valentino gelding was bettering a pair of runner-up efforts, which include a runner-up effort in the Sagaro Stakes, where he failed by a head to beat Mizzou.

He looks sure to go well, and this extreme trip in the ground should suit the thorough stayer. He looks sure to be involved, as does Willie Mullins’ globetrotting Max Dynamite (8/1, Sky Bet) who posted some good efforts last term, finishing runner-up in the Northumberland Plate prior to winning the Lonsdale Cup at York.

The Great Journey gelding produced a career-best when running Prince Of Penzance to just a half-length in the Melbourne Cup, and looked in need of the run when third of four in a muddling Henry II Stakes at Sandown behind Pallasator.

Conditions will pose no problems, being a winner on soft ground over hurdles, and he looks sure to be in the thick of things. Pallasator (12/1, Coral) reopposes in this race, and Sir Mark Prescott’s charge can’t be ruled out either given he has shown good form in the past at this venue, including in heavy ground when third to Forgotten Rules in the 2014 Long Distance Cup.

Max Dynamite (left, pink colours) can run a big race in the Gold Cup.

John Gosden saddles Flying Officer (12/1, Sky Bet) who racked up a hat-trick of successes last term, scoring at Salisbury in September prior to winning a Listed contest at Newmarket. 

That form was bettered when the Dynaformer gelding got the better of Clever Cookie to land the Long Distance Cup last term, and he lost nothing in defeat when trying to give 5lbs to that rival and Mizzou, eventually finishing third to that pair and beaten only three-parts of a length at the line.
A winner on soft ground in the past, he can go well; however, he often likes to race prominently, and this additional yardage coupled with testing conditions could just find him out.

It could be worth siding with MIZZOU (12/1, BetFred) who has looked a thorough stayer in his races and remains relatively unexposed as a stayer.

Luca Cumani’s charge is closely matched with Max Dynamite from their run at York, where the Galileo horse finished runner-up to the Irish raider; and he had Clever Cookie and Flying Officer behind when making a winning return in the Sagaro Stakes here.

That was his second win in the race, and he was a soft-ground winner at Pontefract a couple of seasons back, so these conditions shouldn’t pose an issue although he may ideally prefer better ground given his best has come on quicker underfoot conditions. 

The Galileo horse is versatile with regards to how the race might pan out, and is able to race prominently or when held up. A hearty battler who won’t go down without a fight, he can sometimes race lazily and can take plenty of driving; but he seems to go well fresh, having won first time up in each of the past two seasons.

He has been given a break ahead of this race, in which he finished seventh twelve months ago behind Trip To Paris so can be expected to give another good account as he bids to better that result twelve months on.

Mizzou (red cap) goes well here, and Luca Cumani's unexposed stayer could have another big performance in him.

Curbyourenthusiasm (25/1, Bet365) is worthy of a second look, and David Simcock’s charge won three times last term, showing progressive form in the process. 

The Mastercraftsman gelding stepped up again on his return to action at York in the Yorkshire Cup, getting to within a half-length of Clever Cookie, and he could be suited by this step up in distance given his breeding.

Scotland (22/1, Coral) meanwhile hasn’t won since he was a juvenile, but he has run some good races in defeat, notably when runner-up to Elite Army on his return here in a Listed race in May.

Andrew Balding’s Monsun gelding arguably produced a career-best when sixth in this race twelve months ago, and he has placed twice in the mud in the past, including in the Chester Vase a couple of seasons ago. He’s not without a chance at his best and could outrun his big odds.


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2016 Ascot Gold Cup tips - Mizzou can outstay Royal Ascot rivals to lift Thursday feature

Brian Healy looks ahead to Thursday's Group One feature at Royal Ascot, the Gold Cup.

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