Brown Panther, Leading Light ready for Gold Cup battle
Owned by former England striker Michael Owen, Brown Panther is among the favourites for the week’s feature race.
The Gold Cup (4,023 metres) is the pick of the seven Group 1 races from Tuesday to Sunday, with Leading Light the early favourite.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, the four-year-old colt has won six of his eight starts and enters as favourite ahead of Brown Panther.
O’Brien is equal for most Gold Cup wins as a trainer with five, including Yeats winning four straight from 2006-09.
The race is the longest Group 1 in Britain and was won by Estimate last year.
Royal Ascot opens with three Group 1 races ” the Queen Anne Stakes (1,609m), the King’s Stand Stakes (1,006m) and the St James’ Palace Stakes (1,609m).
Toronado, Hot Streak and Kingman are the favourites for the respective races.
Toormore is expected to challenge in the St James’ Palace Stakes and Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, said there were several potential winners.
“It should be a great spectacle,” he said.
“I’m not saying only four horses can win it, but with War Command, us, and the big two (Kingman and Night Of Thunder) it’s a race to really look forward to on the first day of Royal Ascot.”
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2,012m), Coronation Stakes (1,609m) and Diamond Jubilee (1,207m) are the other Group 1 races.
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