Gold Cup runner-by-runner guide to today’s Royal Ascot Group 1 race

All the runners and riders in Thursday's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

The Gold Cup is the feature race on Thursday at Royal Ascot – and the boffins at Timeform have the low-down on all 13 runners.

Twilight Payment

Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien Jockey: Tom Marquand Age: 8

Melbourne Cup hero who has been a bit below that form in 2 runs in Ireland this year, no match for Emperor of The Sun at Leopardstown latest. First go over this trip and wouldn’t be sure to stay.

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Trainer: John & Thady Gosden Jockey: Frankie Dettori Age: 7

Has led all before him in the British staying division since 2018 and bounced back to winning ways with an impressive victory in the Sagaro here 7 weeks ago. Can land this for the fourth year running.

Nayef Road

Trainer: Mark Johnston Jockey: Ben Curtis Age: 5

Chased home Stradivarius in this last year but has a couple of heavy defeats to put behind him this time around. Hard to fancy.

Rip Van Lips

Trainer: A. Suborics Jockey: James Doyle Age: 5

Back to winning ways in 2m Group 2 in Germany 6 weeks ago. Suspect he’ll stay this longer trip but he looks out of his depth in this company.


Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Hollie Doyle Age: 5

Stormed clear to win the Long Distance Cup here in October, with Stradivarius having an off-day, and returned with an encouraging run behind Japan in the Ormonde at Chester. Can go well up in trip.

*Trueshan was declared a non-runner on Thursday on account of the ground

Spanish Mission

Trainer: Andrew Balding Jockey: William Buick Age: 5

Back to winning ways in the Yorkshire Cup last month from Santiago, gradually drawing clear. Consistent and looked all stamina when landing the Doncaster Cup in September, so place claims.

Princess Zoe

Trainer: Anthony Mullins Jockey: J. M. Sheridan Age: 6

Completed a stunning 5-timer in the Prix du Cadran in 2020, so she won’t want for stamina, and she caught the eye on her latest start. Could ruffle a few feathers if back on song back up in distance.


Trainer: Mark Johnston Jockey: Joe Fanning Age: 4

Relished the test of stamina when winning heavy-ground Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp last season and was electric when bolting up in the Dubai Gold Cup in March. Longer trip will suit. Dangerous.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Seamie Heffernan Age: 4

Irish Derby winner who was also fourth in the St Leger last season. Better run second time back this year when behind Spanish Mission in the Yorkshire Cup but needs to improve for this longer trip.

Amhran Na Bhfiann

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: W. M. Lordan Age: 4

Lightly-raced Derby third who opened his account easily in Dundalk maiden in April. Possibly amiss behind Emperor of The Sun at Leopardstown since and the blinkers go on now. Remains unexposed.

Emperor Of The Sun

Trainer: Donnacha Aidan O’Brien Jockey: G. M. Ryan Age: 4

Gained a deserved second success, and a first at listed level, at Leopardstown last month. This sort of test could bring out more from him and it’s not hard to see him running into the frame.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Ryan Moore Age: 4

Not really seen to advantage since his stunning Derby success last year, possibly needing the run at the Curragh last month. Interesting he’s been supplemented for this as he goes up markedly in trip.

Ben Lilly

Trainer: David Brown Jockey: Kevin Stott Age: 4

Useful handicapper who has been a credit to his trainer but surely biting off more than he can chew in this stepped up in trip.

Timeform Verdict

STRADIVARIUS has dominated this division since 2018 and went with all his usual zest when winning the Sagaro here on his return. He can emulate the mighty Yeats and land a fourth Gold Cup. Subjectivist and Trueshan look the chief dangers.



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