Day three of Royal Ascot and we’ve got another seven cracking races to look forward to, with the Gold Cup the feature.

Will Stradivarius make it four wins in the big one well, Nick Luck has a sporting alternative against him. Read on for his thoughts on all the action.

Royal Ascot

GO BEARS GO can go well in a really open running of the Norfolk Stakes (2.30pm) at 11/1. A fast breezer at the two-year-old sales, he made a really taking start to his career for the very capable David Loughnane and was value for more than the winning margin. A sounder surface should be in his favour and – in addition to his own success at this track – his half-brother (with same trainer) also showed smart form at Ascot. Project Dante was another who made a blistering impression on the clock on his debut and he may be overpriced.

ONE RULER has to be a bet at 5/1 in the Hampton Court (3.05pm). I was a massive Mohaafeth fan before the Derby, but you’re being asked to take a third the price about a horse who didn’t run over a horse who has actually run pretty well in two Classics without the rub of the green on either occasion. This intermediate distance looks spot-on for him, as does the more conventional track, so the top rated horse gets the nod. 

GLORIA MUNDI could be the answer at 9/2 to an open Ribblesdale (3.40pm). I am keen on the Listed race that she contested with Eshaada as a crucial piece of form coming into this and feel that the selection has claims of reversing that form granted this longer distance and a sounder surface. Of those at bigger prices, both Twisted Reality and Ad Infinitum make a fair bit of appeal to run well. 

SPANISH MISSION (10/1) is an each-way alternative to likeliest winner Stradivarius in the Gold Cup (4.15pm). Make no mistake, I see no huge negatives in the favourite, but the more I watch Spanish Mission, the more I am convinced that there is no distance too far for him. Overall, he has made mild improvement for the switch to this stable, but more compelling is that his most impressive efforts have been when faced with his most extreme tests. He is third top-rated here, yet is the one that figures to progress again at this marathon trip, particularly if the ground stays on top.

ROYAL PLEASURE is an educated stab at 12/1 at the Britannia (5.00pm). For starters, Sir Mark Prescott’s horses are winning at a ridiculous clip at the moment, so anything he runs needs a second look. More compelling, though, is this horse has been kept to tracks and tests where the handicapper hasn’t been able to get a real handle on how good he might be. Everything about the way he moves and travels through a race suggests he’ll be better granted a stiffer test, a stronger pace and turf, none of which he’s enjoyed to date. With Luke Morris back on board, he’s one to take very seriously. 

FIRST LIGHT is the choice at 11/2 in the King George V (5.35pm). There are others with a bit more substance to their form and he’s all about potential, but every time he’s run he has been ridden and shaped like a stayer. As such, this first try at 12 furlongs ought to suit well and he is ridden by Frankie Dettori for the first time. I’d expect him to be ridden handily and grind away from that prominent position. He won’t mind if the thunderstorms materialise.

RAISING SAND can run this track with his eyes shut and is a sporting each-way bet at 20/1 to win the Buckingham Palace (6.10pm). He almost never runs a bad race here, is now lower than his last winning mark for the first time since and is fully six pounds lower than when leading his own group home in last year’s Hunt Cup. His comeback run wouldn’t have you racing to the windows, but neither was it bad and should have put him spot on. In a race of fine margins, this rider’s five-pound claim is worth its weight in gold and I like the first time cheekpieces as well.

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