Mick Fitzgerald: This 4/1 shot can Counter Stradivarius in Ascot’s Gold Cup

Cross Counter is the new kid on the block waiting to dethrone Stradivarius in the 4.20pm.

Mick Fitzgerald


The Group 2 Norfolk Stakes opens the card at 2.30pm and is a burn up the straight for these two-year-olds. The Irish look to have a strong hand as Sunday Sovereign really impressed with his speed at Tipperary and accounted for Monday’s Coventry winner Arizona at the Curragh. His trainer Patrick Twomey is a dab hand at normally selling these speedsters and now that he has his licence, he will be even more effective and his runner will be a strong force with the juvenile division. King Neptune could be the each-way value for the Aidan O’Brien team in a trappy contest.

The form of Sangarius form got a real boost when his conqueror at Sandown, King Of Comedy nearly won the Group One on Tuesday. The step up in trip looks ideal and he could be the one to get Sir Michael Stoute off the mark with Frankie Dettori booked to ride. Joseph O’Brien’s Buckhurst is another to consider as I know Joseph really likes him and we may not have seen the best of him yet.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Ribblesdale Stakes 3.40pm three times since 2014 and I’m confident Fleeting will make it four on Thursday. She ran a cracker at Epsom behind Anapurna in the Oaks and can build on that by winning here.


There’s a procession of the latest Royal Ascot odds over at PaddyPower.com 

The Ascot Gold Cup is the feature race of the day at 4.20pm and reigning champion Stradivarius is a superstar of the staying division, but looked a little lazy when winning at York. I love Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter and he looked really good,when winning last time in the Dubai World Cup. He is the most gorgeous specimen of a horse and he will relish this test in the step up to 2m 4f. I’m in his camp and he can dethrone Stradivarius.

In the Britannia Stakes at 5pm Turgenev ran in the Dante Stakes at York and looked like he just didn’t stay the 1m 2f. He has some really good form to his name and with Team Gosden involved it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if the drop back brought out the best in him. Kieran O’Neill rode him in the Dante and thought he could be really competitive dropped back in trip to a mile. Davydenko fits the ‘could be anything’ bracket and that means he is not to be underestimated for Sir Michael Stoute. In a race like this you need two against the field.

Sinjaari was beaten a short head into second at Newbury in a race that normally throws up a hat-ful of good winners. He gets the nod for the William Haggas team in a tough 1m 4f heat that rounds off the day at 5.35pm.

There’s a procession of the latest Royal Ascot odds over at PaddyPower.com 

What do you think?