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Posted 2024-06-19 19:01:07  
Royal Ascot Day 3: Gold Cup Headlines Week

Day 3 of Royal Ascot is headlined by the the weeks main event, the Gold Cup. all races are broken down race by race.

Norfolk Stakes (2.30pm)

Starting the day is the Norfolk Stakes, a Group 2 race over five furlongs, featuring Whistlejacket, who is a strong favorite among a field of unexposed two-year-olds. Whistlejacket's impressive victory in a Listed race at the Curragh last time out has garnered attention, and his pedigree supports his prospects, being a brother to Little Big Bear, the Windsor Castle Stakes winner two years ago. However, there are other promising contenders. Shareholder, acquired by Wathnan Racing for 460,000 Euros, won his debut at Beverley with a determined performance. Arizona Blaze, who finished second to Whistlejacket before winning a Group 3 at the Curragh, is another to watch. Additionally, American trainer Wesley Ward, a two-time winner of this race, has entered Saturday Flirt, who won a three-runner race on debut.

King George V Stakes (3.05pm)

The King George V Stakes, a 12-furlong handicap, follows, and last year’s winners, Their Majesties The King and Queen, trainer William Haggas, and jockey Tom Marquand, hope for a repeat with Gilded Water. Gilded Water was impressive in a maiden win by nearly eight lengths and should benefit from the increased distance. This race, however, is wide open. Chantilly, ridden by Ryan Moore and one of Aidan O'Brien’s four entries, has yet to run a mile and a half but should handle it well, being by Galileo. Going The Distance seeks a fourth consecutive win after a Kempton Park handicap victory in April, while Fouroneohfever also aims for a fourth straight win. Kamboo, who struggled in the Derby, will find this handicap company easier.

Ribblesdale Stakes (3.45pm)

Next is the Ribblesdale Stakes, a Group 2 race for three-year-old fillies over a mile and a half. Diamond Rain is highly anticipated after an impressive Listed win at Newbury and a debut victory at Ascot. Aidan O'Brien and John Gosden, who have trained eight of the last ten winners of this race, have strong entries. Port Fairy, second in the Cheshire Oaks, now wears a visor for potential improvement. John and Thady Gosden’s trio includes Danielle, a half-sister to last year's Gold Cup winner Courage Mon Ami, who was third in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. You Got To Me, who won that trial and placed fourth in the Oaks, might lack the improvement of others.

Gold Cup (4.25pm)

The main event, the Gold Cup, a nearly two-and-a-half-mile race for four-year-olds and up, has Kyprios as the short-priced favorite. Kyprios, who won this race in 2022, returns after injury with recent wins at Listed and Group levels. Challengers include Coltrane, who has strong course form, finishing second in last year's Gold Cup and winning the Longines Sagaro Stakes. Gregory, last year’s Queen's Vase winner, and Vauban, last year's Copper Horse Handicap winner, are also contenders. Trawlerman, who defeated Kyprios in the Long Distance Cup, could find a career best at age six. Sweet William and Caius Chorister, tied on recent form, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Britannia Stakes (5.05pm)

The Britannia Stakes, a handicap over the Straight Mile, features 30 runners. Volterra impressed on seasonal debut with a Newmarket handicap win and faces Skukuza, who also won at HQ. Qirat, another debut winner, beat Al Shabab Storm, while Starlove could improve with a clearer run. Follow Me aims for a hat-trick after Curragh wins, and Mickley seeks a third straight win following a Doncaster victory.

Hampton Court Stakes (5.40pm)

The penultimate race, the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes, is for three-year-olds over ten furlongs. King's Gambit, impressive in a Newbury handicap win, steps up to Group company. First Look, second in the Prix Du Jockey Club, and Bracken's Laugh, second at Listed level, show strong form. Portland, a Listed winner at Leopardstown, drops back in trip. Al Musmak, the only previous course winner, seeks redemption after a Dante Stakes run.

Buckingham Palace Stakes (6.15pm)

Concluding the day is the Buckingham Palace Stakes, a seven-furlong handicap. English Oak, having fulfilled potential with a Haydock win, leads Wathnan Racing’s chances. Fresh, a regular at Ascot, could record his fourth win here with a favorable handicap mark. Awaal, despite not running since October, has a commendable record when fresh. Percy's Lad and Kings Time aim for back-to-back wins, while The X O, showing revival signs at Epsom, seeks to improve on a career-best performance in a Group 3 here last year. 

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