Altano the value alternative in Gold Cup

 

She may own the stage, but thoroughbreds are too addicted to improvisation to permit even the monarch to write the scripts. So while the royal colours are carried on Ladies' Day by the Gold Cup favourite, Estimate, those punters driven by profit – rather than patriotism – should perhaps pledge allegiance to one of the foreign invaders instead.

The Irish, for instance, send over a couple of outstanding past winners at this meeting. While the going may prove too lively for the fragile Rite Of Passage, Simenon looked right back to his best at Chester and won twice in five days round here last year.

Then there is Last Train, arguably pick of a strong French challenge, an improving young stayer with few miles on the clock since forcing a photo for the Grand Prix de Paris last summer – nowadays the nearest equivalent to a French Derby.

At 20-1, however, the claims of Altano (3.45) have been unduly neglected, as is so often the case when German horses venture abroad. Stamina, after all, is the bedrock of their pedigrees, and Altano combines a doughty maternal bloodline with the class of Galileo.

And while he has reached the age of seven without sampling Group One company, nor has he ever undertaken so thorough a test of his staying power. Certainly, he was never stronger than at the finish in his warm-up, and the extra half-mile entitles him to the improvement very much anticipated, in Estimate, by their relative odds.

The Germans' first Derby runner, Chopin, returns for the Tercentenary Stakes after flattening out into seventh in a sprint finish at Epsom. But this looks a strong race for the grade, with Remote making such rapid strides and Shikarpour having excelled when thrown into the deep end for the Prix du Jockey-Club. But Indian Chief (5.00) shaped well when third in what has proved a stronger Dante Stakes than seemed likely at the time, still looking green after travelling with gusto.

The Lark sets the standard in the Ribblesdale Stakes, after her fine third in the Oaks, but patient tactics paid off in a race run at a reckless gallop that day and conditions will place more emphasis on speed this time.

While Alive Alive Oh (3.05) has hitherto raced on an easier surface, she has shown loads of pace and careered six lengths clear off a modest gallop in a listed race last time. Her pedigree promises better again at this longer trip and she is preceded by a good deal of confidence.

The Norfolk Stakes inevitably brings together too many improvers to warrant confidence even in Coulsty, who landed a gamble by five lengths on his debut. It does seem significant, however, that Jamie Spencer has rejected Green Door for Wind Fire (2.30), whose Sandown form has been lavishly advertised.

Some rapid improvers also convene for the Britannia Handicap, none more tempting than Wentworth. But he is a fairly short price after his eye-catching warm-up at Goodwood, and Fehaydi (4.25) offers better value at 25-1 after disappointing at Sandown last time.

That race probably came too soon after a promising effort over a trip that stretched him at Newmarket, and he has since been freshened up by his astute trainer, William Haggas.

The Queen will have high hopes of Sea Shanty, and is also represented by another leading fancy in the other handicap. Like the thriving Royal Skies, however, Bold Sniper has a difficult draw and Excellent Result (5.35) finally retrieved his debut promise with a runaway success at Sandown last time.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Excellent Result (5.35 Ascot)

Next best

Henry The Aviator (9.10 Leicester)

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photo Booth Host

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers



£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service Engineers ...

Recruitment Genius: Project Director / Operations Director

£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'