The Inside Line: Kyprios can get back to Royal Ascot with a bang and regain Gold Cup crown

Repeat of 2022 victory on the cards for Aidan O’Brien runner

Kyprios and Ryan Moore (left) won the Gold Cup at Ascot in 2022 and can repeat the trick on Thursday (David Davies/PA)

Kyprios can add his name to the exalted list of multiple Gold Cup winners by reclaiming his crown at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Contested over a marathon two-and-a-half miles, the Ladies’ Day feature has always been a happy hunting ground for past victors coming back in search of more Group One glory.

Yeats heads the roll of honour with four straight triumphs, followed closely by Sagaro and Stradivarius on three, while Le Moss and Ardross feature among the double winners.

Kyprios was considered a sure-fire future addition to such lofty company after battling on to beat Mojo Star and Stradivarius in a tight tussle two years ago, on what was only his seventh start.

Three more Group One strikes followed that season in the Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and Prix du Cadran, which he won by an incredible 20 lengths.

Unfortunately, a serious injury setback forced him to sit out last year’s Gold Cup and his campaign was restricted to just a couple of runner-up efforts.

However, Kyprios is very much back on track this term, successfully negotiating warm-up races at Navan and Leopardstown.

Those wins were more workmanlike than spectacular, but he is not the type to do much more than is required as a rule, and both Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore appear confident of a big run.

The Ballydoyle dogs have also been barking loudly about the chances of Whistlejacket in the Norfolk Stakes.

Although beaten fair and square by Cowardofthecounty on his Curragh debut, the No Nay Never colt showed plenty of speed that day.

Dropping down from six furlongs to five looked an obvious move and Whistlejacket was ultra-impressive when slamming subsequent Group Three scorer Arizona Blaze in a Listed-class contest over the minimum trip.

Seven of the last nine winners of the King George V Stakes have carried less than 9st and French Duke is an interesting entry in the right weight bracket this time.

Roger Varian’s charge was just edged out by a highly-rated rival in Hosaamm on his three-year-old debut and has since been snapped up by the ambitious Wathnan Racing camp.

Godolphin home-bred Diamond Rain, a daughter of Oaks heroine Dancing Rain, looks set to be all the rage for the Ribblesdale Stakes after kicking off her career with a couple of wins last month.

The latter defeat of Ejaabiyah at Newbury was achieved in a most taking manner and that runner-up gave the form a timely boost by romping home at Salisbury on Sunday.

Mickley takes a big step up in class when contesting the Britannia Stakes but Ed Bethell’s gelding could hardly have been more convincing in comfortable victories at Southwell and Doncaster this term.

The handicapper has raised him 7lb for that Town Moor triumph but he made a mockery of his initial mark in what looked a competitive heat beforehand, so the upside is there for him to go well again.

Richard Hughes has made no secret of how highly he regards Bracken’s Laugh and the son of Zoffany can justify that faith in the Hampton Court Stakes.

Although already a winner at Newbury and Chelmsford, he still looked to have scope for more improvement when second to Capulet in the Dee Stakes and the feeling is that everything has been geared towards this day.

Four-year-olds have dominated the Buckingham Palace Stakes in recent years, so English Oak is of obvious interest after powering clear for an emphatic win at Haydock last time out.

Ed Walker’s Wootton Bassett colt hails from a fine family on the dam’s side and is another to have caught the attention of Wathnan after that strong performance.


NAP: Kyprios (4.25 Royal Ascot)

DOUBLE: Whistlejacket (2.30 Royal Ascot)

TREBLE: French Duke (3.05 Royal Ascot)

YANKEE: Diamond Rain (3.45 Royal Ascot)