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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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Trends analysis

THURSDAY 4.20 GOLD CUP

JAMES HILL

The common thread in recent years has been to look for horses who won last time Since the days of Yeats, eight of the last nine winners had landed their most recent start. The odd one out was surprise victor Trip To Paris (2015), and he was hardly coming into this out of form after finishing second in the Henry II Stakes and winning the Chester Cup. In 2017 Big Orange was in the form of his life when taking this, but he was also the oldest winner in the last eight years, as it has otherwise been dominated by four-year-olds. That age group has now won six of the last seven renewals. Aidan O’brien has won over half the runnings since 2006, with five of those coming from horses who’d run in the Vintage Crop Stakes, with four following up. This year’s race saw O’brien run Southern France and Capri, who finished third and fifth respectively. Verdict With Kew Gardens sticking to 1m4f, Ballydoyle lack any real big guns to fire, and the three to concentrate on are from other yards. Last year’s winner Stradivarius isn’t weak on the trends, but the four-year-old pair of Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee come out stronger. Preference is for the Mark Johnston-trained colt.

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