Tip For The Gold Cup At Royal Ascot: Gold Cup Can Head To France With Vazirabad

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Vazirabad – 6-1 with Boylesports. 4.20pm Royal Ascot Thursday 21st June.

Only eleven horses remain in contention for Thursday’s Gold Cup but this year’s renewal has the makings of a classic with 2016 winner Order Of St George ( a short head second to Big Orange 12 months ago ) taking on the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius and French challenger Vazirabad.

Heading the betting at a best price 15-8 with several bookmakers including Paddy Power and Betfred, Aidan O’Brien’s versatile six-year-old is more than just a stayer having proved good enough over middle-distances to finish third and fourth respectively in the last two Arc’s. The mount of Ryan Moore is certain to put up a bold show in an effort to regain the stayer’s crown he so narrowly lost last year but in Stradivarius and Vazirabad he faces two worthy adversaries.

 The former, a son of Sea The Stars, was beaten only half a length when third behind Capri and Crystal Ocean in last season’s St Leger with subsequent Melbourne Cup hero Rekindling back in fourth. The mount of Frankie Dettori ended the year with a one length third to Order Of St George ( Torcedor splitting the pair ) in Ascot’s Champions Long Distance Cup, and once again there is unlikely to be little between the two in Thursday’s 2m 4f contest. 

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At the 6-1 available with Boylesports however the horse who could have been underestimated by bookmakers is the French challenger Varizabad who looks an each-way bet to nothing at that price. The Manduro gelding has not finished outside of the first two in his last twelve races dating back to September 2016.

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The winner of eight of those contests, two at Group 3 level, four Group 2’s and a couple of Group 1 victories, the first in the Prix Royal Oak at Saint-Cloud and the most recent coming in the two mile four and a half furlong Prix du Cadran last September.

The Alain De Royer-Dupre-trained six-year-old doesn’t know how to run a bad race, has stamina in abundance along with a telling turn-of-foot, qualities which make Christophe Soumillon’s mount a great bet to give France their first Gold Cup since Westerner in 2005.

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