Ryan Moore has become used to making history but on day three of Royal Ascot he has a chance to prevent Stradivarius from claiming his place in the record books.
A win for superstar stayer Stradivarius would see him join the great Yeats as the only two horses to win the Group One Ascot Gold Cup (4,000m) on four occasions and he bounces into the race in good form after winning the Group Two Yorkshire Cup for a third time on his last start.
A real fan favourite in Britain largely thanks to his owner Bjorn Nielsen’s willingness to keep him in training rather than pack him off to stud, Stradivarius is probably no longer at the peak of his powers at the age of eight but there will not be a bigger cheer this week if he hits the front inside the final furlong.
Moore, who has won many of the biggest races around the world including all of the Group Ones at the Hong Kong International Races, is chasing his third Gold Cup win after victories aboard Estimate for the queen in 2013 and Order Of St George in 2016, and this year he rides the newest kid on the staying block in Kyprios.
🏆 2018— Sporting Life Racing (@SportingLife) June 18, 2020
👑 Stradivarius wins a third successive Ascot Gold Cup... And HOW!pic.twitter.com/xgVKUNXYze
The four-year-old will have his stamina stretched to the limit as he has yet to race beyond 2,800m and this will be a test of his class as well as his guts.
Moore’s mount is taking a huge step up against proven Group One performers but he could hardly have advertised his credentials better than when winning a Group Three at Leopardstown by 14 lengths on his last start.
Hollie Doyle, who recently said she is open to doing longer stints riding in Hong Kong, would have been doing a rain dance for much of the last week to help her mount Trueshan.
Purton goes back-to-back as Marquand and Doyle make IJC history
But with no rain in Britain for at least the past seven days, she is unlikely to get the chance to tackle the meeting’s most famous race.
Elsewhere on the card, the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes (2,400m) has lost some of its lustre following the defection of unlucky Oaks second Emily Upjohn but the race provides a good opportunity for Doyle’s husband Tom Marquand to record another Royal Ascot win.
He gets aboard the hugely promising Sea Silk Road, who is unbeaten in her two starts this season and represents in-form trainer William Haggas.
An impressive winner at Goodwood last time when taking the step up to Listed level in her stride, she should continue her rise up the ranks here.
Current Hong Kong jockey Harry Bentley’s only Royal Ascot success came in the Britannia Stakes (1,600m) aboard Biometric in 2019 for trainer Ralph Beckett, who again appears to have a good chance in the race with Jimi Hendrix.
Lightly raced with two wins from just four starts, he appealed as a likely type for this race when winning impressively at Haydock on his last start and sneaks in right at the bottom of the weights.