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Fame And Glory Out To Make It Back-To-Back Wins In Ascot Gold Cup
6/18/12 - The Aidan O’Brien trained Fame And Glory is the warm order 11/10 favourite to win a second successive Group One, Ascot Gold Cup, over 2 ½ miles at the Royal Meeting on Thursday. The six year old warmed up for the race with a comfortable win in the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last month and was said by his jockey on that day, Joseph O’Brien, to have run a little too keen but he will improve for that seasonal debut and should be ready for his Royal Ascot engagement.
The six year old Fame And Glory has already enjoyed a glittering racing career, with wins in the Irish Derby in 2009 the Group One Coronation Cup at Epsom in 2010 and last year won the inaugural British Champions Long Distant Cup over 2m2f on Champions Day at Ascot last October in addition to his Ascot Gold Cup win 12 months ago. It could also be argued that if it was not for Sea The Stars he would have probably have won the Epsom Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes also in 2009.
However, he now appears to be heading in the same direction as the great Yeats, also trained at Ballydoyle by O’Brien and who holds the record of four Gold Cup wins achieved consecutively between 2006-2009. Fame And Glory is the same age now as Yeats was when wining his second Ascot Gold Cup and looks highly capable of at least equalling if not bettering Yeats feat.
Against him this year he is likely to have the Godolphin pair, Opinion Poll trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and Colour Vision from the Saeed Bin Suroor yard, who ran second and third behind him in the Champion Long Distance Cup. Opinion Poll was also runner up, three lengths behind Fame And Glory in last season’s Gold Cup. They are both rated as 5/1 chances by in the Gold Cup betting with the John Oxx trained, Saddlers Rock, who defeated Opinion Poll byfour lengths in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup over 2m2f last September also a 5/1 joint second favourite.
Despite last season’s narrow defeats, Opinion Poll has bounced back and won twice already this season firstly taking the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan during the Dubai Carnival and then ran really well to take the Group 3 Henry II Stakes over 2 miles at Sandown last month. Al Zarooni has been very bullish about his six year old, believing that he can make the necessary improvements to reverse the positions with the favourite.
That said, Bin Suroor is equally bullish about the chances of Colour Vision, who looked a very talented and speedy stayer when taking the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Kempton Park AW track. Bin Suroor believes the grey gelding has learned some valuable lessons since Champions day and is ready to provide him and Godolphin with a fifth win in the race.
An interesting outsider in the race is the Donald McCain dual purpose horse, Overturn, who comes to the race penalty free and will relish a fast 2½ miles, particularly on good ground. He is stepping up hugely in class of course but such is his nature that he appears able to rise to every challenge put in front of him. We all know how difficult he will be to pass should he be in front on the final stretch and it is reassuring to listen to positive soundbytes coming from McCain who is fast becoming one of the great trainers of our time. At 25/1 Overturn is worth an each way bet but it is Fame And Glory who sets the standard in the race and is very much the one to beat as he looks more than capable of winning this race for a second year running.
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