Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Royal Ascot - Day 3 Preview

Royal Ascot - Day 3 Preview

Royal Ascot - Day 3 Preview

Neil Morrice brings us an in-depth preview for day 3 of Royal Ascot which features the big one, the Group 1 Gold Cup.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Trainer: Paul Cole - Hockey: Rossa Ryan

This yard has still to get in the groove but HIGHLAND CHIEF has the touch of class required to go well under top weight. The Gleneagles colt is having just a fourth career start and finished only four and a half lengths behind Pinatubo when third in The Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs here exactly a year ago. He then disappointed in a Group 2 at Newmarket but is reported to have done well physically for his protracted break.

Godolphin’s GLOBAL STORM has the benefit of having scored already this season, having edged out Arthurian Legend at Newmarket. It means he began from where he’d left off and is seeking to complete what would be a fine hat-trick under a 6lb penalty. His stablemate YA HAYATI won in Dubai in the winter, and may also earn on this first run on turf in Britain.

ACQUITTED lost no caste in defeat when chasing home Palace Pier at Newcastle to show that he’s trained on. Hugo Palmer’s charge should appreciate the extra quarter mile. The Gosden/Dettori combo can never be left out and HYPOTHETICAL is also a name to conjure with. The son of Lope De Vega won a Listed race right off the bat before contesting a Group 3 and figures to be dangerous on this handicap debut.

2nd Acquitted
3rd Global Storm
4th Hypothetical
5th Ya Hayati

Trainer: Andrew Balding - Jockey: Silvestre de Sousa

Considering he was restricted to just two outings in 2019 and managed to finish fourth in the Group 1 Champion Stakes, there’s much to recommend FOX TAL whose connections will fancy they are some way from getting to the bottom of him. The Balding stable has hit the ground running, while if running close to that three and a quarter defeat by Magical he must have a great chance of taking advantage of this drop in grade.

This promises to be one of the best races of the week, and Aidan O’Brien looks to have a solid contender in last year’s Investec Derby third SIR DRAGONET who had a racecourse gallop before chasing home Numerian in a Listed contest at Naas. He started odds-on that day and like some of the other older horses from Ballydoyle might have needed the run.

REGAL REALITY is held by Fox Tal on the Champion Stakes form but the former could play a big part if having been improved by a subsequent gelding operation. Sir Michael Stoute’s runner has looked in good form in mainly solo work in preparation for this. Top weight DUBAI WARRIOR won his last three but needs to shown he’s as good on grass as on the all-weather. DREAM CASTLE looked very good in Dubai in the early part of 2019 but hasn’t quite managed to sustain that level of form. That said, I fancy he could stage a renaissance.

2nd Sir Dragonet
3rd Dream Castle
4th Regal Reality
5th Dubai Warrior

Race 3: JERSEY STAKES (Group 3)
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori

With the Gosden/Dettori combo in impressive form, the unbeaten KING LEONIDAS takes the eye as he steps up the class ladder. Under a 7lb penalty he bossed a competitive novice at Newmarket and looks every inch a Group horse in the making.

MOLATHAM looms as a big threat based on his defeat of Guineas runner-up Wichita in a Listed race at Doncaster. However, following a 250-day absence his fitness has to be taken on trust. MONARCH OF EGYPT was highly tried at two, and didn’t fare too badly when seventh to Siskin in an Irish 2,000 Guineas that turned into a sprint. It would be unwise to leave him out, a comment that also applies to CELESTIN on whom French trainer Fabrice Chappet adds cheek-pieces.

Those looking for a roughie to shake things up might consider ROPEY GUEST, who was placed in three Group 3s at Newmarket through the autumn and whose owners do well with their runners here.

2nd Molatham
3rd Monarch Of Egypt
4th Ropey Guest
5th Celestin

Jockeys Ride Horses

Race 4: CHESHAM STAKES (Listed)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: William Buick

Godolphin took this out with Pinatubo in 2019 and could have the answer to the renewal with MODERN NEWS, a son of Shamardal who sneaked home on his debut at Newmarket but will relish this step up to seven furlongs.

The Coolmore runner BATTLEGROUND caught the eye with the way he stayed on at the finish of his Naas introduction, and this first foal of Arc winner Found will step forward, and should contend. From a yard that rarely delivers with its juvenile debutants, CONCESSIONS is interesting at a bigger price, having scored with something up her sleeve for Richard Hannon at Chelmsford.

Taking stock of Mark Johnston’s good record in the race MARCH LAW is also worth inclusion. He was easy to back on debut at Haydock but will have learned from that earning run.

2nd Battleground
3rd Concessions
4th March Law

Race 5: GOLD CUP (Group 1)
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori

STRADIVARIUS can join an elite club of horses that have won this race three times and looks one of the gilt-edged bets of the week for Gosden and Dettori. In spite of his impressive wins to run record, it might be premature to compare the six-year-old to Sagaro and Yeats just yet, but all the evidence is that it will take something special to stop him going through the Cup royal flush of this race, the Goodwood, Yorkshire and Doncaster Cups once more. He had his bid to win eleven races in succession thwarted by Kew Gardens in the stayers’ race here on Champions’ Day last autumn, but then gave it a good shot on reappearance against runaway scorer Ghaiyyath in the Jockey Club Stakes over an inadequate mile and a half at Newmarket.

With no Kew Gardens to worry about this should be plain sailing for the Hollywoodbets 4-7 favourite, whose main threats appear to stem from Godolphin who field both CROSS COUNTER and the improving MOONLIGHT SPIRIT. Cross Counter vainly chased the Stradivarius shadow on a couple of occasions last summer and doesn’t look as good as he promised to be when lifting the Melbourne Cup. However, Moonlight Spirit ended 2019 with two very good efforts at Longchamp to mark himself a front runner that can take plenty of pegging back at Group level, and Charlie Appleby is very good with that sort of fast-maturing older horse. Mark Johnston’s NAYEF ROAD beat stablemate Mildenberger on seasonal return at Newcastle and, granted his trainer’s fine record with stayers, also needs putting in the mix.

2nd Moonlight Spirit
3rd Cross Counter
4th NAYEF Road

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge

Race 6: BRITANNIA STAKES (Heritage Handicap)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: WillIan Buick

This is traditionally one of the most difficult races to unravel at the meeting and the renewal is no exception. Godolphin is double-handed with PATH OF THUNDER and DUBAI MIRAGE with a preference for the former, who ended 2019 in a rich vein of form. The son of Night Of Thunder attracted support on his three runs after chasing home the top class Threat on debut at Newmarket, but will be stepping into unknown territory if the ground turns soft. He retains the cheek pieces sported for his last winning appearance. Dubai Mirage is also equipped with the headgear following his wide margin triumph on the Kempton Polytrack, a race he was fully expected to win.

FINEST SOUND carries a 5lb penalty for a convincing comeback success at Haydock where he had the race in the bag a long way out. He appears to have thrived for a break and looks sure to figure, granted luck in running. ENEMY is on a recovery mission after being turned over at 1-2 at Yarmouth on the basis of which he could struggle, while STARCAT is one of the first colts to try to bolster the 2,000 Guineas form, having finished seventh behind Kameko at Newmarket.

2nd Finest Sound
3rd Dubai Mirage
4th Starcat
5th Enemy

Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: Jim Crowley

Owner Sheikh Hamdan is enjoying a bountiful meeting and HUBOOR can add to his prized haul in the finale. The daughter of More Than Ready led home a big field on her final juvenile start at Newmarket in the autumn and should step up considerably on her midfield finish when returning at Lingfield. She should also be far happier back on turf.

DECLARED INTEREST represents a Ralph Beckett hard doing well with its fillies and is of some interest on the back of her comeback success at Chelmsford. AFRICAN DREAM is going to be very short following her nose second to Stylistique at Newbury, but handicap ships are there to be shot at and all the value has gone out of her. SOFFIKA is an interesting runner for the Stoute/Moore combo and should take home a cheque if the favourable reports about her are accurate.

2nd African Dream
3rd Declared Interest
4th Soffika

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