Yeats tops Gold Cup hopefuls

YEATS will face a maximum of 15 rivals in his quest to land back-to-back runnings of the Ascot Gold Cup on the third day of the Royal meeting.

Aidan O’Brien’s star was one of the most impressive winners of the race in modern times 12 months ago, when establishing himself as a stayer of the highest calibre.

O’Brien has also left in Coronation Cup winner Scorpion, who could further strengthen his hand.

Main opposition to Yeats is expected to come from Rod Millman’s popular eight-year-old Sergeant Cecil. Fifth in the race last year after a troubled passage, he has gone from strength to strength since, and arguably posted a career-best performance in the Yorkshire Cup last time.

There is expected to be a European presence in the race with Montare and Lord du Sud from France and Le Miracle from Germany.

Geordieland, second to Sergeant Cecil in the Yorkshire Cup and to Yeats in last year’s Goodwood Cup, is also among the entries.

Godolphin have one representative, Cherry Mix, while Sir Michael Stoute’s Allegretto and John Best’s Rising Cross represent the fillies.

Amanda Perrett has the option of running both Tungsten Strike and Bulwark, while Mick Channon’s Baddam, twice a victor at the Royal meeting last year, goes in search of more glory. The possibles are completed by Diamond Quest, Finalmente and The Last Drop.

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