Royal Ascot Day 3: Gold Cup tips, runners, trends and draw bias

Royal Ascot 2018 Day 3

Royal Ascot day 3, the middle day of Royal Ascot 2020, featuring the most prestigious race of the week, the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup, a contest steeped in history is set to be run in lieu of spectators and Her Majesty The Queen this year, who traditionally presents winning connections with the Gold Cup trophy.

The Queen has become fairly well acquainted with Bjorn Nielsen, John Gosden and Frankie Dettori the last two years courtesy of their star stayer Stradivarius, who bids for his third successive Gold Cup victory.

You can find everything you need to know about the Royal Ascot Gold Cup below, from the thoughts and analysis of our experts, key Gold Cup trends, free bets and our Gold Cup tip.

For more Ascot tips, be sure to check out our designated tipping pages for each of the remaining days of the meeting here – Royal Ascot Day 3 tips, Royal Ascot Day 4 tips, Royal Ascot Day 5 tips

Ascot Gold Cup Tips

Already a dual-winner of the race and now bids to replicate Sagaro and Yeats as the only horses to win three successive Gold Cups.

The late omission of the Aidan O’Brien-trained Kew Garden’s – who got the better of Stradivarius in a thrilling Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October, certainly enhances his chances.

John Gosden’s superstar has been the king of the staying division for the past two years, winning the Gold Cup, Yorkshire Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup to claim the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million jackpot in each of the last two seasons.

He had the perfect prep-run for this in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and looks unopposable in the big one.

Remaining Gold Cup Runners

Cross Counter
Held by Stradivarius on their two previous meetings, 4th in this last year and finished third in behind Stradavarius once more in the Goodwood Cup. Perhaps seen to better effect over two miles, but one of the more likely candidates to chase home the favourite.

Smart stayer but has 6 lengths to find on Stradivarius on their meeting in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October. Ran with real credit in Saudi Arabia in February, finishing ahead of Prince Of Arran and Cross Counter but meets them on 2lb and 8lb worse terms here today.

Prince Of Arran
A globe-trotting star who split Mekong and Cross Counter in Saudia Arabia in February. Won another big pot in Australia in October before going down narrowly in the Melbourne Cup once again. Finished with a flourish over 2m½f behind Nayef Road last week. Finished 8th in this in 2017 but better than ever now and a live Each way contender.

Winner of a few top staying handicaps and at listed level. Made a disappointing return in behind Nayef Road and Prince of Arran latest. Steps up into Group 1 company for the first time here and may struggle in warmer waters.

Moonlight Spirit
Fourth in last years Queens Vase before winning a Group three at Longchamp. Improved again latest to finish ¾ length behind the reopposing Technician in a Group 2, needs to take another step forwards, but unexposed over this trip.

Nayef Road
Third in last years Queens Vase, ahead of Moonlight Spirit. Ran with real credit in third behind Technician in the St Leger, but then finished a long way behind that rival and Moonlight Spirit on very soft ground at Longchamp. Looked suited by the step up to 2m when winning on his reappearance, but real concerns over him staying this trip.

He is 4 from 4 on ground soft or worse and will hope for as much rain as possible. If conditions are in his favour, he looks like the most likely candidate to test Stradivarius. Winner of the St Leger and followed up with a Group 2 at Longchamp last year, shaping as though this trip will suit and is very much a player on soft ground.

Key Gold Cup Trends

  • 10 of the last 10 winners have been aged 4-6
  • 9 of the last 10 winners have been in the top 3 in the betting.
  • 7 of the last 10 winners have been rated 117 or higher

The two horses that fit the criteria for each of the top three trends are Stradivarius and Cross Counter.

The remainder of the field, including current second favourite Technician (116) fall short of a rating of 117 or higher.

Both Prince of Arran and Withold are 7-year-olds meaning they do not meet the parameters of any of the three key Gold Cup trends.

With the trends suggesting Stradivarius and Cross Counter are the two to focus on, it gives another nod to the favourite Stradivarius’ chances.

Stradivarius has comfortably beaten Cross Counter both times they have met, and there seems no reason why Cross Counter will turn the tables here.

Though, Cross Counter could be best placed to chase home the favourite or capitalise if Stradivarius performs below par, making him the best alternative for each way or forecast purposes.

Gold Cup Trends Pick: Stradivarius

Ascot Draw Bias

With just eight in line to go to post in the Gold Cup, there won’t be any real draw bias, as there often isn’t on the round course. The pace can be more of a factor in these races, due to Ascot’s relatively short home straight.

Withhold and Nayef Road look the likely pacesetters, with Stradivarius, Cross Counter, Prince of Arran and Moonlight Spirit sitting in midfield, with Technician and Mekong expected to be dropped in at the rear of the field.

Royal Ascot Gold Cup Free Bet Offers

Get a head start with your Royal Ascot bets by signing up to a bookmaker account and claiming a free bet. With at least seven races each day, bookmaker free bets can come in handy and during Royal Ascot, firms will be competing with one another for the best offer. We have selected the best offers for our Day 3 Royal Ascot tips below, or you can view our free bets page for all the latest offers and free bets.


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