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Royal Ascot Day 3 – June 22, 2017

By Ben Archer
Published on June 09, 2017
Royal Ascot 2017

*This is Part 3 of the Royal Ascot Series. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The third day at Royal Ascot is the jewel in the crown, for it features the race the whole meeting centers on. This year will be the 210th running of the Ascot Gold Cup.

Now held on what is traditionally known as Ladies’ Day, the Gold Cup is a test for stayers and runs over a trip of 2m 4f.

Previous winners of this coveted prize include Yeats, who won it in four consecutive years from 2006 to 2009, and Sagaro, who won it three times under Lester Piggott from 1975 to 1977, but the most exhilarating and heart-warming victory came in 2013.

Lining up for the Gold Cup that day was a horse called ESTIMATE, who had the form to go close and, more importantly, was the subject of a major gamble during the week leading up to the race and was sent off as the 7/2 favorite.

Swinging into the home straight, jockey Ryan Moore was getting to work on Estimate and slowly beginning to get to the leaders. At the furlong pole, to the roar of the crowd, he hit the front but as he did so Simenon loomed alongside him and the pair fought hammer and tong to the line.

In the shadows of the post, Estimate stuck his neck out and the crowd went wild as not only had the gamble come off, but the winning owner was watching from high in the stands, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had won the Ascot Gold Cup.

This year’s renewal has ORDER OF ST GEORGE, last year’s winner, as the 5/4 market leader and it would be no surprise if he shortened even further as he was sent off odds-on last year.

One that should give him a run for his money is BIG ORANGE, a horse that has become a fans’ favorite, for this giant just gallops and gallops and normally pushes his rivals into submission long before the finishing line.

He has only one speed, but it’s a relentless gallop and if allowed to dictate from the front he is going to be difficult to pass.

Norfolk Stakes

The third day opens with the Norfolk Stakes, a Group 2 race over 5 furlongs.

Wesley Ward, who won this race in 2013 with No Nay Never, sends over McERIN and the bookmakers currently have him as their 5/1 favorite.

Hampton Court Stakes

The Hampton Court Stakes is a Group 3 event half an hour later and this looks like a wide-open affair, with the bookmakers going 7/1 the field.

Currently at the top of the market is MIRAGE DANCER, a colt trained by Sir Michael Stoute who was being aimed at the Epsom Derby.

This son of Frankel was pulled out of the race as the trainer wanted to spend more time getting him to fulfill his promise and this being so he could be ready to roll at Royal Ascot.

One that did run in the Derby and is now heading for this race is KHALIDI, a colt trained by John Gosden who previously won the listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.

He failed to handle the twists and turns of Epsom on Derby Day and he’s better judged on his Goodwood run. Currently at double figure odds he will be a lot shorter come the day.

Ribblesdale Stakes

The Ribblesdale Stakes is the third race on the card and Frankie Dettori has made this race his own, winning it on six occasions.

This year’s market leader is MORI, a daughter of Frankel who was impressive in her last two starts.

She won her maiden here at Ascot in May and then stepped up on that effort when winning the listed Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood later that month.

Improving with racing, she is likely to be partnered by Ryan Moore, who is going for his third win in the race, having won it 2015 and 2016.

Britannia Stakes

The Britannia Stakes follows the Gold Cup and is very similar to the Royal Hunt Cup, with the maximum field of 30 thundering down the straight over 1 mile.

Every horse entered can currently be backed at double figure odds as the final field has yet to be confirmed and it’s a question of whether you get a run or not.

King George V Stakes

The final race on day 3 is the King George V Stakes and this tends to be a difficult puzzle to solve.

The last five winners of this race were returned at 13/2, 9/1, 4/1, 20/1 and 12/1.

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