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Horse Talk with Simon Jackson
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
The going has been amended to good to soft at Royal Ascot today where Fame And Glory bids to land the Gold Cup at 3.45pm for the second successive year.
Last year Fame And Glory beat Opinion Poll, who reopposes, by three lengths to land a monster gamble. He franked the form when he won the British Champions Long Distance Cup from the same rival here in October.
“He’s in very good form but I just hope they don’t get much more rain,” trainer Aidan O’Brien admitted, ahead of bagging a double at Ascot yesterday with So You Think and Ishvana. “If they do his class might not shine through. I hope it stays dry for him.”
Bookmakers are taking no chances with the son of the ill-fated Montjeu and William Hill have him as their clear market leader at even money, from 4-1 shot Saddler’s Rock.
“There has been plenty of confidence in Fame And Glory’s Gold Cup double bid and he’s easily the worst result in our Ascot ante-post book so far,” said William Hill spokeswoman Lucy Rhodes.
And jockey Johnny Murtagh, who rides Saddler’s Rock today for trainer John Oxx, admits that Fame And Glory is the one to beat.
“He’ll improve for the run (second at Leopardstown). He’s a bit lazy at home and he didn’t have a straightforward preparation,” Murtagh said.
“I think he’ll definitely come on for the run. He’s come out of the race well and John Oxx is very happy with him.
“I don’t think there’ll ever be another Yeats, but Fame And Glory is a very classy horse.
“Two and a half miles stretches him to the limit, he might not be a thorough stayer like Yeats, it’s more his class that gets him through.
“He’s a very high-class horse and the ground will be on the easy side again so he’s the one to beat.”
Meanwhile Shirocco Star, The Fugue and Vow, second, third and fourth in the Oaks at Epsom, clash in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at 3.05, where preference is for The Fugue who had little luck when finishing a neck and half a length adrift of Oaks winner Was.
“She should have won the Oaks, it’s as simple as that,” Buick said. “She was unlucky, she got squeezed out and that finished the race for her.”