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Thursday is a big day and it could produce the story of the meeting.
To win a fourth Gold Cup (4:15pm) with Stradivarius would be incredible, so there’s no doubt the pressure is on.
That said, whatever he does he’s a superstar.
He’s already won three and to have a stayer with a turn of foot like his is almost unheard of.
We know he loves Ascot, the trip is no problem and John’s [Gosden] got him in great order.
He won his prep run nicely and I suppose the only question mark is the new opposition, like Subjectivist, Spanish Mission and Serpentine.
Subjectivist is probably the one I fear most.
As for Strad retaining his ability at the age of seven, all I can say is he’s trained by the best and he still feels very enthusiastic on the gallops.
Stradivarius and Frankie Dettori in the 2021 Longines Sagaro Stakes
It’s worth remembering that Yeats was eight when he won his fourth Gold Cup.
I kick off Thursday with Snapraeterea for Joseph O’Brien in the Hampton Court Stakes (3:05pm).
He’s a bit of an outsider but Joseph has plenty of class horses in his yard and won’t be running them at Royal Ascot for fun.
Gloria Mundi is a lovely filly and I’m looking forward to getting back on her in the Ribblesdale (3:40pm).
She was a bit babyish to begin with but is growing up all the time and this is another good test for her.
I was a bit disappointed with Mithras at Sandown so I’m hoping he can bounce back in the Britannia (5:00pm).
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He remains fairly unexposed and is a horse I still like a lot, but the Britannia is about the most competitive race of the week so it’s still hard to be too confident.
The same can be said about First Light in the King George V Stakes (5:35pm).
He’s got a nice profile, but this is a big step up.
My final ride of the day is Bedouin’s Story in the Buckingham Palace Stakes (6:10pm).
He likes to come with a run from the back off a strong pace, so hopefully the race sets up nice for him.
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