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Royal Ascot: Day 3 Preview & Betting Specials

The Gold Cup (4.20pm) is the feature race on Thursday at Royal Ascot where Coltraine is aims to justify his status as a rising sprint star.

The Andrew Balding-trained entry looks the most likely in this test of stamina following his triumph in the Sagaro Stakes on Royal Ascot Trials Day.

In his three previous runs at Ascot, Coltraine has won twice and was only narrowly beaten by Trueshan on Champions Day.

Since then, Trueshan has faltered with limited outings and the same could be said for Subjectivist, with just three races in three years.

Balding says of Coltraine, “I’ve been very happy with him since the Sagaro and he’s got some very good course form, which is important.

“It was obvious what our target was this year and we didn’t feel there was any need to be chasing anything and we’ve focused on this race. He’ll go on any ground and we know he gets the trip because he won the Ascot Stakes last season.”

Eldar Eldarov, a three-year-old who captured the Queen’s Vase and St Leger titles last season, carries great promise.

Yibir, a Group 1 winner over a mile-and-a-half, adds intrigue as he steps up markedly in distance. Courage Mon Ami, undefeated in three lower-level races, remains an enigma and could surprise the field.

Frankie Dettori has won an incredible eight Gold Cups and rides in the race for the final time on Courage Mon Ami, who is certain to attract the sentimental punter.

Joint trainer Thady Gosden says: “He’s been very progressive and is still lightly raced but this is a significant jump from a handicap into Group 1 company against the best stayers in Europe. We’d be confident he’ll stay two miles but the extra half mile is unknown territory.”

Before then, Welsh jockey David Probert is on board Double March in the King George V Stakes (3.05pm), an Ascot winner last month.

Desert Hero carries the Royal silks, aiming to secure victory for his Majesty The King in a race named after his great-grandfather.

Trained by William Haggas, Desert Hero presents an interesting proposition, but he will need to improve upon his seasonal reappearance at Newbury, where Bertinelli emerged as the victor.

Bertinelli, representing Coolmore, enters the race as one of the favorites and is likely to show further improvement.

Probert has a second booking, on board Spanish Star, in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at 6.10pm, a winner at Epsom last time out earlier this month.

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