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Ginger Joe - The 2024 Ascot Gold Cup - Runner By Runner Guide & More

Publish Date: 19/06/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • A preview and betting tips for the 2024 Ascot Gold Cup
  • 2022 winner Kyprios looking to regain his Stayers’ crown
  • My NAP & next best bets for Day 3 of Royal Ascot 2024

The Ascot Gold Cup takes centre stage on Thursday

As we head into Day 3 of the Royal Ascot meeting, we have already been spoiled by some truly amazing racing action so far and that trend looks set to continue as the week goes on.

For Thursday’s racing I’m bringing you a runner-by-runner guide to the highlight race of the day, the Ascot Gold Cup, where 2022 winner Kyprios returns to try and regain his title. Things haven’t been straightforward for him over the last year, with a few niggling injuries taking their toll and he will only win this if he returns in peak form.

He’s already had a ton of market support, to the point where his price tag no longer matches his winning potential, so I’m going to take him on. Anyway, I’ll go through all of the runners, then bring you my verdict and my 1-2-3 prediction.

As an added bonus for you, I’ve also popped in my NAP and next best bets for two other hot Day 3 races at the end of my Ascot Gold Cup guide. So, without further ado, let’s get the party started!

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Your Ascot Gold Cup runner-by-runner guide

The Ascot Gold Cup needs no introduction and this year’s Group 1 battle over 2m 4f looks all set to be yet another classic renewal, as Kyprios returns in an attempt to regain his 2022 crown. The action begins at 16:25, so make sure that you set your alarms, but in the meantime, you can take a look at every runner in the 2024 field right here.

Coltrane @ 12/1

Coltrane was last year’s runner up, and he seems to be one who saves his best running for Ascot. Andrew Balding’s gelding bounced back to form here last month, beating Caius Chorister by a short distance. He seemed to benefit from the application of the cheekpieces which are retained here and he also seems to appreciate a fast surface, which also bodes well for him here. If he can build on that effort he may not be far away and he certainly isn’t a bad each way shout.

Enemy @ 100/1

Enemy is the outsider in the field. In fairness he does have a good course record at Ascot but in much weaker company than this. He has been tried in Group company previously, but was found lacking, and he also has to prove he can actually stay this far. He’s worthy of his place in the lineup, but he falls way short on ratings and is highly unlikely to play a leading role here.

Kyprios @ 4/5

Kyprios is the market leader here and what a supremely talented Stayer he is. He was unbeaten for the entire 2022 season, which included winning this race. Unfortunately, he was ruled out for most of 2023 with injury problems, but sets a clear standard here on his best form, and he is sure to be well-supported for leading connections. We have only seen him run twice since his return from injury and he was beaten both times, but his run behind Trawlerman in October offered hope that he can return to something like his best. Kyprios has on both of his 2024 starts, but in fairness, they were much weaker races than this, and he will need to be fully geared up to win his second Ascot Gold Cup.

Prydwen @ 66/1

Prydwen, who is George Scott’s entry, is a really interesting runner here despite his massive price. He has been on a rapid upgrade this season running on the all weather and won his last two in serious style, easily pulling clear over two miles. However, he switches back to turf in a much stronger contest here, and he would need to find major improvement to win this. He is worthy of his place in the lineup though, and could potentially outrun those huge odds.

Sweet William @ 18/1

Sweet William, who runs for John Gosden, is a lovely horse who always seems to give his best. However, from what we have seen of him so far, even his best form is unlikely to see him winning here. He travels well and will stay the trip with no problem, but he falls a little short on class and I think a few of the market leaders will beat him comfortably here.

Trawlerman @ 8/1

Trawlerman is another trained by John Gosden and he holds strong claims here if he can stay the trip. He beat Kyprios by a short margin back in October, so he already has the benefit of a run against his main rival. Prior to that run, he raced over in Meydan, where he ran a credible third behind Tower Of London staying on strongly. The fact he did his best work late on suggests he could be well worth a crack over this extended trip. I think Trawlerman comes into this race with a decent chance of hitting the frame.

Trueshan @ 33/1

Trueshan is a very good horse in his own right, but he needs soft ground to be seen to his best. We have repeatedly seen him withdrawn in these fast conditions and it would be no surprise if trainer Alan King were to pull him out yet again. In fact, this has been going on for the last three seasons, and he has also been very much out of form this year. Even if he does run, I don’t see him winning this year's Ascot Gold Cup.

Vauban @ 8/1

Vauban is a seriously smart Hurdler for Willie Mullins and he is also a proven winner on the Flat, having clocked up wins over 1m 4f and 1m 6f. He is versatile ground wise and has plenty of pace on his side, but he is unproven over this far and I’m not 100% sure he has the stamina to win this race. His run in the Yorkshire Cup last month saw him in second behind Giavellotto, but that was his first run for six months, so he should be much fitter this time around. The distance remains a question mark, but he shouldn’t be overlooked for top connections.

Gregory @ 6/1

Gregory is the dark horse in the race this year and could be open to any amount of improvement this season. He won the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last year and has run some good races in defeat since. His latest effort was his only start so far this season, where he finished five lengths back off Giavellotto, so he should have come on plenty for that. Gregory could make his presence felt if he stays the trip and although he remains an unknown quantity, he is one of the most appealing contenders for sure.

Caius Chorister @ 12/1

Caius Chorister finished his 2023 campaign with a Group 3 win at Saint Cloud. Following a layoff, he was close behind Coltrane at Ascot in May this year, when tried two miles for the first time. He then proved it was no fluke by running Sweet William to a head at Sandown, so even as a five-year-old he is clearly still improving. He is an unknown quantity over this trip, but has been progressing run for run and although it’s also a step up in class, he is sure to come into the equation.

The GJ Verdict

Now that we have taken a look at all of the runners in this year’s Ascot Gold Cup, it’s time to bring you my verdict and 1-2-3 prediction for the race. I think Caius Chorister will enjoy this trip and could prove even more effective on his first attempt over a longer distance. He is definitely one that I see hitting the place money.

Looking at this year's lineup, Kyprios is the one to beat on peak form, but he does have a few questions to answer, having only run in a couple of weaker events in the lead up to this. Make no mistake about it, if the Kyprios we know and love turns up, then he is by far the likeliest winner. However, there are some in-form types on an upward curve in here that could easily relegate him to second place.

And one of those is John Gosden’s Trawlerman, who was impressive with three straight wins in a row last year. He then followed up with a thirdplace, behind Tower Of London back in March, which brings him right into the mix here. He attempts this extended trip for the first time, but I have no stamina worries with him and I think he has more than enough class to surpass his rivals. So there we have it, Trawlerman for the win, Kyprios as our runner up, with the improving Caius Chorister back in third place.

My 1-2-3 prediction for the Royal Ascot Gold Cup

  1. Trawlerman
  2. Kyprios
  3. Caius Chorister

My Day 3 Next Best - 14:30 Aesterius @ 12/1 (EW)

My next best selection for the day comes in the Norfolk Stakes, where Whistlejacket is the short-priced favourite, and rightly so based on what we have seen so far. The issue I have is that his 11/10 price is seriously short in such a classy race, and there’s nothing to say that one won’t get past him.

So I’m going for a bit of value here instead, and my pick is the lightly-raced Aesterius. He won his only start to date at Bath and has since been purchased by Watnan Racing. He would need to improve to win here, but he’s a really strong travelling sort who also holds an entry in the Phoenix Stakes, meaning that connections must have seen plenty in him. At 12/1 and with four places available, Aesterius is a cracking each way bet in Thursday’s opener.

My Day 3 NAP - 15:45 Diamond Rain @ 5/2

My best bet of the day comes in the Ribblesdale Stakes where we have a very strong lineup. Kalpana chased home Friendly Soul in the Pretty Polly stakes and the step up in trip here should suit her nicely. However, I thought she would beat Friendly Soul that day, and as that one flopped next time out in the Musidora Stakes, the form isn’t necessarily holding up either.

Which leads me back to the favourite, Diamond Rain. She is a beautifully-bred filly, who is now two for two after winning easily at Newbury on her first attempt at 1m 2f. She was still quite green, but won impressively going away, so that leaves her open to plenty of improvement on her third career start. Her Dam, Dancing Rain, won the Oaks and that breeding would make me assume this filly is open to even more as she steps up to a mile and a half. I expect a bold performance from Dancing Rain here.

My NAP and next best betting tips

  • 14:30 - Aesterius (NB) @ 12/1 EW
  • 15:45 - Diamond Rain (NAP) @ 5/2

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