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Saturday 3 December 2016

Kingfisher can allow O'Brien to rule Gold

ASCOT: 2.30 King Of Rooks, 3.05 Time Test, 3.40 Pleascach, 4.20 KINGFISHER (NAP), 5.00 Bartel, 5.35 King Bolete.

CHELMSFORD: 2.20 Diamond Ridge, 2.55 Brown Pete, 3.30 Angelic Upstart, 4.05 Tumbaga, 4.45 Cerutty, 5.20 Big City Boy, 5.55 Boycie.

FFOS LAS: 6.05 Zama Zama, 6.35 Ready Token, 7.10 Still Believing, 7.45 Little Mix, 8.15 Kilfinichen Bay, 8.45 Baths Well, 9.15 Mac Bertie.

LEICESTER: 6.00 Dark Wonder, 6.30 Spongy, 7.00 Pool House, 7.35 Come On Dave, 8.05 Spiriting, 8.35 Be Lucky, 9.05 Tutti Frutti.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 5.50 Mint Chai, 6.25 Catalyst, 6.55 Hunt, 7.25 Six Of Hearts, 8.00 Tested, 8.30 Annagh Haven, 9.00 Rupert Lamb.

LINGFIELD: 5.40 Criminalistic, 6.15 Agerzam, 6.45 Ocean Crystal, 7.20 Skidby Mill, 7.55 Entity, 8.25 Mossgo, 8.55 Ghost Train.

RIPON: 2.10 Royal Display, 2.45 Scoreline, 3.20 Seaching, 3.55 Ventura Quest, 4.35 Red Inca, 5.10 Flash City, 5.45 Dutch Descent.

DOUBLE: Kingfisher and King Of Rooks.

Kingfisher can provide Aidan O'Brien with a record seventh success in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Since saddling Yeats to win the staying crown four times between 2006 and 2009, the master of Ballydoyle has struck gold with Fame And Glory (2011) and Leading Light (2014), with all three horses already Group One winners at shorter distances before stepping up to two and a half miles.

Kingfisher has not yet managed to secure that top-level triumph, but has shown his worth in the best company, most notably filling the runner-up spot behind dual Classic winner Australia in last season's Irish Derby.

The son of Galileo was then asked to tear off as a pacemaker for his esteemed stable companion in both the Juddmonte International at York and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, predictably folding on both occasions.

Those couple of efforts are clearly best forgotten and Kingfisher can be better judged on his two performances so far this season when he has been the number one hope from the yard.

Kingfisher undoubtedly needs to improve again and is going into the unknown over the trip, but that is factored into his price and he is worth an each-way interest at rewarding odds.

King Of Rooks is widely regarded as one of the bankers of the week in the Norfolk Stakes and is difficult to oppose.

Richard Hannon's youngster has improved massively since being beaten over the course and distance on debut, bolting up over six furlongs at Newbury before coming back to the minimum distance to claim Sandown's National Stakes.

Impressive London Gold Cup winner Time Test is a likely candidate for top honours in the Tercentenary Stakes, while Bartel gets the nod in the fiercely competitive Britannia Stakes.

The King George V Handicap brings day three to a close and King Bolete is taken to provide in-form Luca Cumani with another Royal success.

Tumbaga rates the best bet at Chelmsford in the totetrifecta Pick The 1, 2, 3 Handicap, while admirable mare No Poppy can visit the winner's enclosure once again after the brownsfamilyjewellers.co.uk Handicap at Ripon.

Spiriting is the answer to Leicester's Foston Handicap and Criminalistic can strike on the all-weather in the Avensys Maiden Stakes at Lingfield.

The jumping fare comes from Ffos Las, where Charlie Longsdon's Kilfinichen Bay can continue his good run in the Hugh James Solicitors Handicap Hurdle.

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