Royal Ascot Day 3 Preview – By Alex Sausville

Day 3 offers a slew of great races, yet all eyes will be on the Gold Cup. A highly talented field has lined up in an attempt to deny history from Stradivarius as he looks to emulate Yeats in winning this prestigious staying contest for the 4th time. We’ll also see the return of Mohaafeth, who withdrew from the Derby field in preparation for today’s run in the Hampton Court. Will we witness history today at Royal Ascot? Only time will tell.

Race 1: GII Norfolk Stakes – 5 Furlongs, 2 YOs

14 – Second Wind – Kicked on strong up front LTO at Salisbury despite carrying a penalty. The William Haggas trainee is now a solid two for two and handled the ground well. Does still look a little green but has the benefit of two starts under his belt to help with that. His sire, Kodiac, has not only produced a winner of this race, but that winner was the sire of last year’s winner, The Lir Jet. 

9 – Lucci – Favored off of a superb effort on debut at Belmont, a performance that was not far off the track record that day. Most of Wesley’s two year olds at the meeting followed a similar prep in the way of a debut at 4 1/2f on the dirt at Keeneland. This son of Not This Time was pointed directly to the turf and it looked to be the right decision. 

1 – Andreas Vesalius – Took until the 3rd start to break the maiden and did so by getting to the lead. Horse has improved in each start and Shane Crosse jumps back aboard her for Joseph O’Brien. This experienced two year old shares several similarities with his sire, Caravaggio, a multiple group winning two year old who won at this distance. 


Race 2: GII Hampton Court Stakes – 1 1/4 Miles, 3 YOs (Restricted)

3 – Mohaafeth – The dominance of Frankel continues to roll on with one his up and coming stars, Mohaafeth. A lot of expectation for this horse after bypassing a good chance in the Derby to come to Royal Ascot. Due to race restrictions only allowing horses who haven’t won a group 1 or 2 to be in the field, this seems to be a perfect chance for him to get a win at the Royal Meeting and prepare for a bigger prize in the near future. 

4 – Movin Time – Extremely impressive in his first attempt at the mile and a quarter. Was wide but stayed close to the pace before moving towards the inside and kicking clear. Movin Time was dominant at Newmarket and the form took an even better boost in that he beat yesterday’s Queen’s Vase winner, Kemari. His breeding suggests he has the right amount of speed and stamina for this trip. 

9 – Snapraeterea – Seems like every week this guy is on the track, giving it everything he’s got. At one point, he raced three consecutive weeks that included a listed win and a group 3 placing in Ireland. He has only one attempt at this distance, a third place finish in the Gallinule on heavy ground. He is a hard knocking horse and he really doesn’t need too much improvement to land a placing in this spot.  


Race 3: GII Ribblesdale Stakes – 1 1/2 Miles, 3 YO Fillies

7 – Gloria Mundi – Took a little time to get settled last out in the Haras de Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial, but when she did she was able to close into a slow pace, meet her rivals about 100 yds out and re-rally to be just bested at the line. She has continued to show progression and a lot of ability. With a few good starts to her name this could be an ideal spot for a big effort. 

11 – Noon Star – A lot of positives for this horse coming into the Ribblesdale. Finished 2nd in the Group 3 Musidora last time, trailing the future queen of the Oaks in Snowfall. She is by Galileo out of Midday, a Breeders’ Cup winner who excelled going long, including placing in both the Epsom and Irish Oaks. There is a lot to like with this horse which explains the current price. 

4 – Divinely – Finished a good third in the Epsom Oaks and from the same family as the likes of Oaks winner, Snowfall, as well as being a full-sister to Found. Outside of that I haven’t been that impressed by her other efforts. Getting a little give in the ground will suit her well. 


Race 4: GI Gold Cup Stakes –  2 1/2 Miles, 4 & Up

3 – Spanish Mission – He continues to catch the eye as an improving type. A fantastic effort LTO to take the Yorkshire Cup and is an extremely accomplished stayer around the world. My opinion of this horse has gone back and forth over the last few years, however he just continues to impress and if Stradivarius is not his best, expect him to be a major player. 

1 – Subjectivist – Speed is the name of the game for Subjectivist. Funny thing to say about a horse about to travel 2 1/2 Miles, but that is his best tool to deny history for Stradivarius. He used that speed to dominate two of the major staying races in France and Dubai. If he is able to get to the front and control the pace the way he has in his last two starts, the rest of the field will have a fight on their hands.

4 – Stradivarius – Little needs to be said about Stradivarius as he chases history. He came out strong in the Sagaro first up this season as he prepares for his 4th Gold Cup. He did fail to show up at Ascot on British Champions Day, but it’s easily excused given the amount of cut in the ground. We saw several top horses fail to fire over the soft going that day. He is the class of the race, however there are some talented horses in this field that could contend with him if he is not at his best.

Longshot Play: 7 – Amhran Na Bhfiann – Had gained a lot of fans during his 3 year old campaign after he ran a huge race to place in the Derby. Since then, he has only been seen a handful of times due to a leg fracture that required surgery. His first start in 2021 was his maiden breaker as he aired on the All-Weather at Dundalk. As he improves, he will be able to contend at a high level.


Race 5: Britannia Handicap – 1 Mile, 3 YO C&Gs

29 – Air To Air – First start at the mile was a strong one as this three year old gelding continues to improve with distance. Raced competitively at 6 furlongs, but has found his best at 7 furlongs and a mile, very much emulating his sire, Toronado. His races over the All-Weather were solid, however his three best efforts came when switching to the turf. 

9 – Mithras – Stepped up to contest a Heron Stakes with good form around it. Both Mostahdaf and Highland Avenue are good solid three year olds and Mithras was still running at the line. His form leading up to that jump to stakes company involved consecutive wins, one of which over a mile on the All-Weather at Newcastle. A talented horse who should be a live chance back in handicap company. 

5 – Raadoberg – Two straight wins at the mile distance and the give in the ground will suit. The Roger Varian trainee has looked impressive in a short career and the breeding suggests the mile should be the perfect distance for this one. Night of Thunder has had success at Ascot in the handicap division so far and looks to continue that in this spot. 

Race 6: King George V Handicap – 1 1/2 Miles, 3 YOs

9 – Kondo Isami – Missed just a neck last time out and has been tested at this distance and further with success. Lots of class in the family being a half-brother to multiple group 1 winning Australian, Zoustar. No doubt that a son of Galileo can get the distance and this horse has shown ability over soft ground, all-weather and at several distances including the mile and a half. 

18 – Soapy Stevens – From the first crop of Harzand, this horse has shown the ability to get even more distance than his multiple Derby winning sire. A strong triumph over the mile and three-quarters last out at Haydock showed that he won’t have much trouble covering the mile and a half. Ground will be a question but surely has ability. 

1 – Sir Lamorak – The highweight in the field for the Ballydoyle camp, this young son of Camelot is yet to be tested at the mile and a half distance. Overall I see this horse as a mile and a quarter type but his progression over the last few starts says he should handle the distance. Ryan Moore takes the ride over Sir William Bruce, who he won on last out as well at Leopardstown. 


Race 7: Buckingham Palace Handicap – 7 Furlongs, 3 & Up

16 – Aldaary – Beaten as the short price favorite LTO at Goodwood. Got going late in that start but stayed on extremely well to be a clear third. Was dominant in his first three starts, which included a strong handicap victory at this track and distance. Will appreciate the cut in the ground. There is a lot to like with this horse. 

21 – Karabana – Took a big step up to challenge the Victoria Cup and was a non-factor. Outside of that effort he has been extremely consistent and went to the All-Weather at Chelmsford City to pick up a narrow win LTO. The step up in class will be the biggest challenge for this runner but other than that, this horse is primed for an improved effort. 

2 – Bedouin’s Story – He had a sneaky good carnival at Meydan this year picking up a handicap victory and ran a great race behind Star Safari in the Dubai Millennium. I’m a huge fan of the Dubai World Cup Carnival but not always of the form when traveling back to Europe. Frankie jumps back aboard again for Godolphin as the horse has good form at this distance but will be shortening up from his recent trip to the Middle East.

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