Ascot Gold Cup betting tips from Horsebetting.com say Order Of St George looks a worthy favourite to regain this stayers’ crown at Royal Ascot on Thursday, 21 June. Stradivarius is taken over French raider Vazirabad as the main danger for this centrepiece Group 1 race over 2m 4f, but there may be some each-way value in backing Desert Skyline. Read our 2018 Ascot Gold Cup betting tips preview for more.
Order Of St George can regain Gold Cup
Aidan O’Brien has won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot a record seven times in the last 12 years and top staying stable star Order Of St George looks to add his name to the illustrious list of multiple winners of the 2m 4f Group 1 feature race on Thursday, 21 June (16:20).
The six-year-old won this back in 2016 when sent off the odds-on favourite and fully justified that price when staying on strongly to beat Mizzou by three lengths.
Although beaten by a gutsy front-running display by Big Orange when defending his crown 12 months ago, Order Of St George went on to bounce back and land his second Irish St Leger at The Curragh in facile fashion. Unlike the English equivalent, that Classic is open to three-year-olds and up.
After placing in his second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly, Order Of St George scored a second course win at Ascot over 2m in the Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day and his final start of last season.
He’s also looked as good as ever when winning on both his reappearance run in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan and then a Listed contest at Leopardstown comfortably. Although he has to give 1lb on weight-for-age terms to main market rival Stradivarius, Order Of St George is still 5lb and upwards clear of the Gold Cup.
With no Big Orange re-opposing due to injury, Order of St George looks to be in pole position to regain the crown. All 2018 Ascot Gold Cup betting tips must consider him a worthy favourite.
Stradivarius the danger to Ballydoyle inmateWith the ground looking too fast for French raider Vazirabad, whose best form is on good-to-soft and tougher going, John Gosden’s Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius is feared most.
This four-year-old didn’t follow-up on that victory at the Glorious meeting when a half-a-length third in the St Leger at Doncaster. Stradivarius also has a length to find on Order Of St George from their 2m Long Distance Cup meeting at the end of last season.
He meets the favourite on 7lb worse terms, however, and has never raced beyond 2m. Stradivarius is not guaranteed to stay this extreme distance of two-and-a-half miles, but what’s not in doubt is he readily won over 1m 6f on reppararance at York when landing the Yorkshire Cup by three lengths from Desert Skyline.
Five of the last six Gold Cup winners have been four-year-olds, however, so Stradivarius fits the age profile of most recent successful horses. He looks sure to make his presence felt in a renewal that may be lacking strength-in-depth.
Desert Skyline the each-way angleOn his runs behind Stradivarius at Royal Ascot and Goodwood last year and York last time out, Desert Skyline makes plenty of each-way appeal for David Elsworth and champion Flat jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
Like Stradivarius, as a four-year-old he gets 1lb from Order Of St George, and the way Desert Skyline won the 2m 2f Group 2 Doncaster Cup – staying on strongly to beat the re-opposing Thomas Hobson for Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci by 1 1/2 lengths – suggested stepping up a further two furlongs for this would be no problem.
Although he was well-beaten by Torcedor on reappearance at Ascot in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes, the ground came up soft that day. Desert Skyline is a different proposition on better going and he is taken to reverse that form over further and make the frame behind class acts Order Of St George and Stradivarius.
A bit more improvement could see him outrun his odds. Desert Skyline is capable of that and is virtually guaranteed to get the trip – something others with each-way claims do not necessarily have.
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