Perhaps the Queen will miss the race for only the third time during her entire reign, but Kyprios will not have to concern himself with that and he can take the iconic Gold Cup (4.20) on day three of Royal Ascot.
The first Gold Cup, with a prize of 100 guineas, took place in 1807. No horse since has won it more often than the Aidan O’Brien-trained Yeats (four), but Stradivarius has every chance of emulating him — despite failing in that aim 12 months ago.
That defeat suggested the great stayer of the era may be vulnerable. Bookmakers seem to agree and have jumped on the Kyprios bandwagon, such that his price has come in to 7-4. He is about as close as you can get to a Gold Cup winner on pedigree.
Trueshan has developed into a superb stayer for trainer Alan King and jockey Hollie Doyle. He has won his last four races, but there has to be a concern about the hot weather, as he is very effective on soft ground.
Kyprios, however, gets the nod in the showpiece.
The Antarctic, O’Brien’s runner in the opening Norfolk (2.30), may have plenty to worry about in the shape of Walbank, who impressed the clock-watchers on his recent most start at York and can showcase the talents of trainer David Loughnane.
Wallbank made the pace at York but he should be fine getting a lead here, which is preferable at this track.
Life Of Dreams was unable to deal with Emily Upjohn in last month’s Musidora Stakes.
On her next start, Emily Upjohn should have won the Oaks and, understandably, skips the Ribblesdale (3.40) less than a fortnight later. Life Of Dreams still showed smart form in that defeat at York and this renewal looks pretty winnable.
Day three tips
3.40Life Of Dreams4-1
It is hard to know how the draw will work out in the 30-runner Britannia (5.00). This could go to the raiders, with Amortentia a fascinating runner for Sue-Ann Foley, daughter of JP McManus.
He won very stylishly on his seasonal return and will have the choice of what group to go to if they split, as he is drawn 14.
In the Hampton Court Stakes (5.35), Howth is a potential player at a big price. He has cheekpieces on for the first time, but what is most interesting is that this will be his bow over 10 furlongs.
The concluding Buckingham Palace Stakes (6.10) could go to Montassib, trained by Willie Haggas, whose stable superstar Baaeed lit up day one. He is three from three so far, a late developer like Baaeed, and has a nice draw in one.