Kyprios faces eleven in Gold Cup battle

Aidan O’Brien’s star stayer Kyprios will face eleven opponents in search of a second Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday of the Royal Meeting.

KYPRIOS winning the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger (Group 1)
KYPRIOS winning the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger (Group 1) Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Kyprios took the Ascot Gold Cup as part of a string of six unbeaten victories during 2022, but injury limited the horse to only two runs in 2023. He was beaten into second on both outings, including by the re-opposing Trawlerman.

He appeared to be the force of old when returning with a victory in the Listed Vintage Crope Stakes at Navan and followed up with success in the Group 3 Levmoss Stakes. Although last year's Gold Cup winner Courage Mon Ami was ruled out due to injury, John and Thady Gosden will be represented by Queen's Vase victor Gregory and the aforementioned Trawlerman, who came out on top when facing Kyprios in the Long Distance Cup in October.

Other rivals include the Willie Mullins-trained Vauban, winner at Royal Ascot last year, experienced campaigner Trueshan and Gold Cup second Coltrane.

Elsewhere on the card, Aidan O'Brien has a strong favourite in the form of Whistlejacket in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes. The colt was a runaway winner of a Curragh maiden when last seen and could be an exciting prospect for the remainder of the season.

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