Path clear for Duncan to plunder Ascot Gold
WITH last year's victor Rite Of Passage sidelined through injury, the scene is set for DUNCAN to claim the stayers' crown in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
The two-and-a-half-mile heat is certainly the highlight of day three and for many aficionados, it is the pick of the entire week of action.
However, this year's renewal has a slightly open look about it with plenty of question marks over the staying abilities of favourite Fame And Glory.
Admittedly, Duncan has those same doubts about him, but connections must take plenty of heart from his recent Yorkshire Cup win.
A quick glance through his pedigree offers plenty of hope for him being competitive over this trip, as his half-brother Samuel stayed two and a quarter miles, and Duncan's sire Dalakhani certainly seems capable of getting runners with a bit of stamina.
Duncan could offer a touch of value in a race which is far from easy to read.
BANIMPIRE makes a swift reappearance after winning at Cork last Sunday but her turnaround should not be a disadvantage in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
This 12-furlong heat has lost a bit of its gloss in recent years and this does not look to be the best field ever assembled.
Jim Bolger's charge arrives at Ascot in sparkling form though, having won four times already this year as well as finishing a creditable fifth in the Irish 1000 Guineas over an inadequate mile.
Banimpire seems to be thriving on her racing and stepped up to a mile and a half for the first time in Group Three company just a few days ago to show her rivals a clean pair of heels to win by three lengths.
The Holy Roman Emperor filly stays at that trip here and, while moving up in quality, she is set to put up a bold show.
Mickael Barzalona has struck up a good rapport with LAAJOOJ and they can team up to great effect again in the Tercentenary Stakes.
Manchester United’s Michael Owen can visit the winner's enclosure courtesy of PYMAN’S THEORY in the Norfolk Stakes.
The Britannia Handicap has drawn its usual ultra-competitive field and NORSE BLUES is the selection following victory at Epsom last time.
Model Liz Hurley is part of the syndicate that owns CENSUS and she should be smiling after the King George V Stakes.