2.30pm Norfolk Stakes
5 My First Rodeo (Vet’s Cert – Not Sound)
4.20pm Gold Cup
4 Trueshan (Going)
Spoiler alert … it’s the same.
The official going for day three of Royal Ascot is Good to Firm with the GoingStick readings at 8am:
Stands side: 8.8
Far side: 8.6
So the stands (nearside) is marginally faster (the higher the number the quicker the surface) but there is very little in it.
The current forecast for the week indicates a dry week through to Saturday with temperaturs of 26c today due to rise to over 30c on Friday. There is currently a risk of thunderstorms on Saturday. For live weather station and going info please go to: www.ascot.co.uk/thegoing
The whole track had 4mm of water splashed on following racing on Wednesday. It is likely, as long as the forecast remains settled, that Ascot will water after racing each evening to replace moisture lost through evapotranspiration (!!!).
The Racing Post are reporting that the Queen, who normally presents the trophy on Gold Cup day and has an odds-on favourite set to run in Reach For The Moon in the Hampton Court Stakes, will not be at Royal Ascot today.
Good morning from Ascot on the most famous and historic day of the Royal meeting, and quite possibly the only afternoon this year when the Queen might be in attendance. The Gold Cup on Ladies’ Day is the undoubted highlight of the week and this year’s race will see one of the most popular horses in training, Stradivarius, attempting to win the big race for a record-equalling fourth time.
No horse had won the Gold Cup four times in a history that dates back to 1807 until Yeats reeled off four in a row from 2006. But Stradavarius would, in his way, be more remarkable still if he could get his fourth out of five, because keeping an “entire” – or ungelded – horse sufficiently interested to produce his best form at the age of eight is a mightily difficult task for a trainer.
Stradavarius was an odds-on shot for this race last year but came up short against against a talented and rapidly-improving young stayer in Subjectivist. It is a similar story this time around, as Kyprios, a four-year-old from the Aidan O’Brien stable, is his biggest rival on form, although Kyprios is likely to set off as favourite with Stradivarius only second-pick in the market. Trueshan, incidentally, is a non-runner due to the fast ground, which is the least surprising news of the week.
Whether the Queen will be at her racecourse to watch remains to be seen, but there is a big incentive to make the short trip from Windsor Castle as her colt Reach For The Moon will set off at odds-on for the Hampton Court Stakes at 5.35. He was seen as a possible runner in the Derby over the winter but John Gosden could not get him ready in time after an injury curtailed his juvenile campaign. Reach For The Moon made a satisfactory return to action in the Heron Stakes at Kempton last month, however, finishing one-and-a-quarter lengths behind My Prospero, who was not far away in the St James’s Palace Stakes here on Tuesday.
This could also be “moving day” in the contests to end the week as the leading trainer and rider, though Danny Tudhope will be very pleased with his week’s work so far.
Tudhope tops the jockeys’ table with three wins, one ahead of William Buick and James McDonald. He also has the ride on Post Impressionist, the favourite, in the King George V Handicap this afternoon, and a couple more at single-figure odds on Saturday. As for the trainers, the 14 races so far have been won by 14 different stables, and Gosden, as yet, is not among them.
Temperatures are set to climb at the track again today, with a forecast high of 27C in mid-afternoon, so don’t forget the Factor 50 if you’re heading to the track. If not, you can follow all the Ladies’ Day action here on the live blog, and there are some thoughts about what might – repeat, might – be winning here.