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Tuesday 18 June 2019

Gold Cup Preview

The Gold Cup, run over 2 miles 4 furlongs, is the oldest surviving race at Royal Ascot and remains the showpiece event of the five-day meeting. This year’s renewal, due off at 4.20pm on Thursday, June 20, potentially features a maximum of eleven runners, headed by last year’s winner, Stradivarius, who is chasing a seven-timer. However, while John Gosden’s five-year-old is likely to prove a tough nut to crack once again, that fact is reflected by prohibitive odds of 6/5, in a place, and shorter elsewhere.

At the other end of the market, rank outsiders Cypress Creek (40/1), Raymond Tusk (33/1) and Master Of Reality (33/1) look to have plenty to find if they’re to be involved at the business end of such as prestigious contest. However, Thomas Hobson has just 1½ lengths to find with Stradivarius on their running in the Long Distance Cup, over 2 miles, at Ascot last October and, having previously won over course and distance – when sauntering home by 6 lengths in the Ascot Stakes tow seasons ago – looks to have a sporting chance of reversing the form at odds around the 20/1 mark.

Willie Mullins’ nine-year-old was surprisingly turned over, at odds-on, in the Group Two Oleander-Rennen at Hoppengarten on his seasonal debut in May, but still ran respectably on his first start since October. Officially, the son of Halling has 8lb to find with Stradivarius but, with Met Office weather warnings of thunderstorms in place for Tuesday and Wednesday, some easing of the going at Ascot seems highly likely. Soft, or even heavy, going holds no terrors for Thomas Hobson and, while he has yet to win at the highest level, the return to further should do him no harm, either. Win or lose, Thomas Hobson looks outstanding value at the odds on offer and could be ripe for an each-way ‘burgle’.

Selection: Ascot 4.20 Thomas Hobson each-way at 20/1


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