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Ascot Gold Cup 2018: Vazirabad can burst Order Of St George v Stradivarius hype bubble

Royal Ascot 2018 day two: Three runners for Dettori-Gosden dream team today

Brazil vs Costa Rica preview: Odds, match stats and did Brazil and Neymar just pull a PR move?

Ascot Gold Cup punters were afforded a timely reminder of the folly of believing the hyperbole that can often accompany a race featuring two superstars when Blue Point landed the King’s Stand on day one of Royal Ascot 2018.

It had been hyped up as duel between defending champion Lady Aurelia and Battaash, both of whom were rated at least 7lbs higher than any other horse in the contest and everyone fell for it, this site included.

On the day, the former never looked threatening, while the latter was outstayed inside the final furlong by the eventual victor, who returned a 6/1 third favourite.

The Ascot Gold Cup is being hyped as an Order Of St George v Stradivarius showdown

Much of the discussion in the build-up to Thursday’s main event has centered around 7/4 favourite Order Of St George and whether he can beat Stradivarius, the 2/1 second in the betting.

In the process the race is being framed as a classic battle between an ageing champion (six-year-old OOSG won the race in 2016 and was a short-head second last term) and the up and coming star who could have the ability to depose him after running him close in a race last October (below).

 

 

Vazirabad could be the horse to rubbish the idea that the Ascot Gold Cup is a two-horse race

If there’s one to make a mockery of the reductive way in which the race has been hyped, at 9/2, the Aga Khan’s gelding could be it.

He hasn’t gone unnoticed by the layers, but neither has his chance been trumpeted by the pundits.

Unlike Stradivarius, Vazirabad is a Group 1 winner over the Gold Cup’s 2m4f trip, while he scored at Group 2 level on his seasonal return, which cannot be said about Order Of St George.

 

The second in that victory has already scored at listed level since, giving the form a nice look and Alain Royer-Dupre’s six-year-old is sure to strip fitter for the outing.

He’s also bested fellow contestants Torcedor (who split the two market leaders here in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day 2017) and Sheikhzayedroad in past encounters.

At close to an each-way bet to nothing, it’s worth chancing that the much-hyped pre-race showdown between Order Of St George and his John-Gosden-trained rival proves a side show in the Ascot Gold Cup.

Punters can usually rely on the Ryan Moore/Aidan O’Brien axis as a short cut to Royal Ascot profits, but on day one of this year’s meeting it was the Frankie Dettori/John Gosden combo that had the bookies running for cover.

The dynamic duo are back for more with three rides on day two.

Yesterday they teamed up on Calyx, Without Parole and Monarchs Glen at the Royal Meeting and ended the afternoon with a perfect record after winners at 2/1F, 9/4F and 8/1.

On the second day, the untouchable Dettori and Gosden outfit are in cahoots on Stream of Stars (2:05), Cracksman (4:20) and Purser (5:35).

Stream Of Stars is 4/1 second-favourite for the Queens Vase after scoring over 2f shorter at Ascot on good-to-firm-ground a little over a month ago. The third from that race has won a handicap since.

Gosden’s stable star Cracksman is 4/7 for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and beat the re-opposing second-favourite Poet’s Word by seven lengths over course and distance back in October 2017.

Could 12/1 shot Purser be the one that completes another bookie-punishing Dettori-Gosden hat-trick in the Jersey Stakes?

He carries the same silks as Calyx and Monarchs Glen did yesterday, former Frankel owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Frankie Dettori John Gosden Royal Ascot 2018 Day 2

Frankie Dettori and John Gosden enjoyed great success with Khalid Abdullah and Enable (pictured) last season

The son of Mizzen Mast seeks a three-timer of his own after back to back victories over today’s trip on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.

Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.

Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho. Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, looked timid and toothless in their defeat against Serbia. Coutinho to score and Brazil to win was 11/8 but is now 6/4.

Brazil’s own preparations were clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their match with Costa Rica. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.

An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.

“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”

Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.

Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.

Neymar to score first currently stands at 12/5. 

Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).

Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.

 

Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.

Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho. Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, looked timid and toothless in their defeat against Serbia. Coutinho to score and Brazil to win was 11/8 but is now 6/4.

Brazil’s own preparations were clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their match with Costa Rica. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.

An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.

“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”

Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.

Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.

Neymar to score first currently stands at 12/5. 

Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).

Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.

 

Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.

Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho. Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, looked timid and toothless in their defeat against Serbia. Coutinho to score and Brazil to win was 11/8 but is now 6/4.

Brazil’s own preparations were clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their match with Costa Rica. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.

An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.

“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”

Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.

Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.

Neymar to score first currently stands at 12/5. 

Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).

Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.

 

Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.

Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho. Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, looked timid and toothless in their defeat against Serbia. Coutinho to score and Brazil to win was 11/8 but is now 6/4.

Brazil’s own preparations were clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their match with Costa Rica. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.

An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.

“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”

Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.

Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.

Neymar to score first currently stands at 12/5. 

Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).

Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.

 

Brazil will hope to get their World Cup campaign properly on track when they face a Costa Rica side they are 2/11 to beat. In this Group E clash, Costa Rica’s odds of winning stand at 16/1 whilst a draw is betting at 11/2.

Brazil gained a point against Switzerland in their opening fixture courtesy of a trademark Philippe Coutinho. Costa Rica, who were the surprise team of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, meanwhile, looked timid and toothless in their defeat against Serbia. Coutinho to score and Brazil to win was 11/8 but is now 6/4.

Brazil’s own preparations were clouded in doubt when Neymar hobbled out of training three days before their match with Costa Rica. Neymar had been given the day off previously but hobbled off on his first day back.

An official statement from Rodrigo Lasmar, the doctor of the Brazilian national team, said: “Neymar complained of ankle pains as a result of the number of fouls suffered against Switzerland.

“He was referred to physical therapy, and he stayed there today and he will be there tomorrow morning, but he will train tomorrow afternoon.”

Neymar suffered a tournament-high 10 fouls in the draw against Switzerland and he promptly urged referees to “do their jobs”. But releasing an official statement through the national team doctor smells of the Brazilian federation attempting to put further pressure on the referees after Neymar’s post-game comments.

Neymar recently returned to full fitness after having surgery so any fresh injury concerns will be worrying.

Neymar to score first currently stands at 12/5. 

Costa Rica will have to get a result against this Brazil side if they are to have a realistic chance of progressing to the next round. They have reached the knock-out round in two of their last four World Cup appearances (1990 and 2014).

Joel Campbell to score and Costa Rica to win was 33/1 but is now betting at 40/1.