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Stradivarius looks in tune but Princess Zoe can seal deal

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Princess Zoe, with Joseph Sheridan on board, on the way to winning The Longines Sagaro Stakes (Group 3) at Ascot in April. Photo: Mark Cranham/Racing Post

Princess Zoe, with Joseph Sheridan on board, on the way to winning The Longines Sagaro Stakes (Group 3) at Ascot in April. Photo: Mark Cranham/Racing Post

Princess Zoe, with Joseph Sheridan on board, on the way to winning The Longines Sagaro Stakes (Group 3) at Ascot in April. Photo: Mark Cranham/Racing Post

All eyes are on the Ascot Gold Cup (4.20) at the Royal meeting today with Stradivarius hoping to equal the mighty Yeats as a four-time winner.

Now eight, John and Thady Gosden’s star stayer looked as good as ever when taking last month’s Yorkshire Cup and his date with destiny will be a fascinating one as he collides with Aidan O’Brien’s Kyprios.

The lightly-raced Galileo colt has never tackled more than 1m6f in his six career starts, but he oozed class when turning the Group Three Saval Beg at Leopardstown into a procession on his last start.

Ryan Moore’s mount is a worthy favourite, but rates little value around the even money mark with last year’s runner-up Princess Zoe a live contender after her Group Three success at this course in April.

Should the ground soften, the Alan King-trained Trueshan rates a big danger but firm conditions are a worry and the fairytale story of the loveable grey Princess Zoe may yet have a royal highlight for Tony Mullins and Joey Sheridan.

2020 Triumph Hurdle winner Burning Victory also tackles the €600,000 showpiece for Tony’s brother Willie, but Princess Zoe can hit her peak again to land a second Group One while there’s lots of other Irish interest at the Berkshire track.

The home team is led by William Haggas’ Listed winner Sea Silk Road in the Ribblesdale Stakes (3.40), but this Group Two may go the way of the raiding party via Jessica Harrington’s Magical Lagoon, ridden by Shane Foley.

O’Brien’s History is also in the mix but it looked like there may be a lot more to come from Magical Lagoon based on her close second to Concert Hall in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan in April and the daughter of Galileo can oblige.

The other Group Two sees O’Brien’s The Antarctic, unbeaten in two starts and last seen when winning well at Naas last month, tackle the Norfolk Stakes (2.30) while Michael O’Calllaghan’s Crispy Cat is also in the equation.

Walbank may prove a tough nut to crack for Irish natives David Loughnane and Ross Ryan, though, while the King George V Stakes (3.05) sees Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Henry de Bromhead hoping to bag a Royal winner.

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He saddles Vina Sena in an ultra-competitive handicap where O’Brien’s Newfoundland – which scored at the fourth time of asking on his last start – Harrington’s Yashin and the Johnny Murtagh-trained Flying Dolphin also carry Irish hopes.

Joseph O’Brien enjoyed a famous success with State Of Rest on day two and he will be hoping for more in the Britannia Stakes (5.0) with Amortentia while O’Callaghan’s duo of Malex and Great Max, as well as Andy Slattery’s Fiach McHugh, also take their chance.


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