Mizzou can storm to Ascot Gold Cup glory
The feature race at Royal Ascot on Thursday is the Group 1 Gold Cup over two and a half miles at 4.20.
The betting market has a lopsided look with the favourite, Forgotten Rules, not yet certain to line up because of the ground. He really needs good or soft ground and Dermot Weld has repeatedly warned that he will not risk him on a firm surface.
He is unbeaten in four races, most recently winning a Group 3 at Navan last month. He showed that he was a top class stayer when beating Biographer by a length and three-quarters here in heavy ground in the Champions Long Distance Cup.
Luca Cumani is represented by Mizzou, the winner of the Sagaro Stakes here in April. That race is often a reliable guide to the Gold Cup and his two-length win over Vent De Force looks useful with the runner-up having won since. Mizzou looks an out-and-out stayer and this two and a half-mile trip could see further improvement in the son of Galileo.
He was beaten in a thrilling finish here over two miles in October by Big Orange but looks to have strengthened up through the winter and looks sure to run a big race under William Buick.
Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie has been a revelation since switching to the flat from hurdling. He won his first Group 3 at Chester in May when beating Tac De Boistron by a length and a quarter. The runner-up ought to have relished the soft ground that day but, as with the favourite, Clever Cookie may not line up if the going firms up.
French raider Bathyrhon was only seventh in the Dubai Gold Cup in March but bounced back with a win at Longchamp last month. The son of Monsun runs well on good ground and represents the team of Mme Pia Brandt and Maxime Guyon.
Trip To Paris won the Chester Cup before chasing home Vent De Force in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown. Connections have decided to supplement the gelding for this race and he could have place claims. Simenon is eight years of age but showed that he retains his ability when shaping well in fifth place at Sandown. He wore a hood that day and was having his first race back from injury.
He was runner-up to Estimate here in 2013 and fourth last year. He was given rather exaggerated waiting tactics that day and could also be a factor here.
Mizzou – Ascot Gold Cup (Royal Ascot 4.20 Thursday) @6.0 Betfair
Simenon (each-way) @17.0 Ladbrokes
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4