Ascot Gold Cup

The Ascot Gold Cup, which is run on Ladies Day of the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting, is regarded as the top staying Flat race in Europe, as we bring you all the latest horse racing free bets from the bookmakers on the Ascot Festival.

Year-on-year it produces a champion of two-mile Flat racing.

First run in 1807, the Ascot Gold Cup was even regarded at one point as the greatest race in the world, where horses from all over the world would compete. This isn't really the case today as in terms of breeding Flat horses, it is the equines that compete over smaller distances that attract the most money at auction.

Owners and breeders would rather have a Derby winner than an Ascot Gold Cup winner. Saying that, this race has produced some of the world's toughest horses, who are also form a strong bond with the racing public.

This is probably because, unlike middle-distance racing, where top-class horses are usually shipped off to stud after one or two years on the track, staying Flat horses regularly come back year-on-year to race with the Ascot Gold Cup the pinnacle fixture of their race calendar.

A previous winner that defines what this race is all about is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Yeats, who won an unprecedented four Gold Cups on the spin between 2006-2009. The incredible horse is now part of the furniture at Royal Ascot almost literally in fact, after the course erected a statue of Yeats in the parade ring to commemorate the achievement of Ascot's greatest equine legend.

The 2012 renewal was won in gutsy fashion by the Frankie Dettori-ridden Colour Vision. In truth, it probably wasn't the strongest renewal of the race, with hot favourite Fame And Glory running well below par.

It is likely that those protagonists will be back to do battle again next season, but the smart money probably will be on Saddlers Rock (6/1 Ladbrokes), who finished third in 2012 and should improve with another year of racing on his back .

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