Coltrane remains on course for Gold Cup challenge

Ante-post favourite Coltrane heads 15 contenders for Thursday’s Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Winner of the Sagaro Stakes on his seasonal bow over two miles at the Berkshire track, the six-year-old lifted the Ascot Stakes at the Gold Cup trip of two and a half miles at last year’s fixture before going on to finish fourth in the Goodwood Cup, second in the Lonsdale Cup and win the Doncaster Cup.

His trainer Andrew Balding also has Nate The Great among the contenders, with the Roger Varian-trained Eldar Eldarov another towards the top of the market after winning last year’s St Leger and taking second in the Yorkshire Cup.

Aidan O’Brien has the choice of Emily Dickinson, Broome and Changingoftheguard, with last year’s victor Kyprios sidelined by injury, while John and Thady Gosden, trainers of three-time race winner Stradivarius, have lightly-raced Goodwood scorer Courage Mon Ami in contention this time.

Subjectivist, winner of the race in 2021, the Charlie Appleby-trained Yibir and Willie Mullins’ Echoes In Rain are other key names, with Sagaro second Wise Eagle, Trueshan Tashkhan, Lone Eagle and French raider Big Call also in the mix.

As expected, Al Asifah has been supplemented for the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes.

The Gosden-trained filly made a huge impression with a Listed win at Goodwood last Sunday and owners Shadwell paid £13,125 to add her to the field.

Stablemates Ghara and Lmay also feature in the list of 22 possibles, with the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Infinite Cosmos another leading player after finishing third to subsequent Oaks winner Soul Sister in the Musidora at York.

Be Happy and Red Riding Hood could represent O’Brien in an Irish challenge that also includes Azazat, Lumiere Rock and Village Voice. The Fabrice Chappet-trained Crown Princesse provides French interest.

National Stakes winner Elite Status is one of 33 in the Norfolk Stakes, where Wes Ward’s American Rascal – a son of dual Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia – is another popular pick. George Boughey’s Asadna is also entered.

Newbury winner Bertinelli tops 46 in the King George V Stakes with the 19 contenders for the Hampton Court Stakes including the likes of Epictetus, Torito, Waipiro and Oaks third Caernarfon.

The Britannia Stakes has 59 entries, with 58 in the final event on Thursday, the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

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