Yeats tops Gold contenders

Last year’s winner Yeats heads a field of 14 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Last year’s winner Yeats heads a field of 14 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge romped to victory by four lengths 12 months ago and bids to emulate Royal Rebel, who took the stayers’ championship two years’ running in 2001 and 2002.

Yeats looks certain to head the market but he could face stiff opposition in the race itself from the public’s favourite, Sergeant Cecil.

Rod Millman’s eight-year-old was only fifth in 2006 but notched up his first Group One success in the Prix du Cadran last October and landed the odds in the Yorkshire Cup last month.

He gave Geordieland, who re-opposes on Thursday, 5lb and a three-quarter length beating in that event.

Cherry Mix will bid to give Godolphin a fifth Gold Cup success while Amanda Perrett saddles both Bulwark and Tungsten Strike.

Baddam, winner of both the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandra Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting, represents Mick Channon.

The Last Drop, who disappointed behind Sergeant Cecil at York, will try to make amends for Barry Hills, while Allegretto and Rising Cross will represent the fairer sex.

Lord Du Sud and Montare represent France with Germany having a rare runner in Le Miracle.

With Finalmente also taking his chance, the O’Brien-trained Scorpion and Diamond Quest were the only withdrawals at the 48-hour declaration stage.

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