A disappointingly small field are due to contest the Tattersalls Gold Cup, but the race still represents a thought-provoking affair thanks to the face-off between last season’s Triple Crown nearly-colt Camelot and Roger Charlton’s lightly-raced five-year-old Al Kazeem.
The Tattersalls Gold Cup has been a Ballydoyle benefit of late with the last three of those precious receptacles going the way of Aidan O’Brien trained runners, taking his grand total in the last decade to six wins.
He’s tag-teaming this year’s event with course and distance winners Camelot and Windsor Castle, though in truth the latter is unlikely to gate-crash the duel for victory between his more illustrious stable-mate and Al Kazeem.
Windsor Castle is rated around 12lbs worse than Al Kazeem and spent much of last term getting battered by Frankel as Excelebration’s pace-maker, after pulling off an unexpected victory over St Nicholas Abbey on his season debut in 2012. Nonetheless he has a fighting chance in comparison to no-hoper Negotiate who the handicapper rates the most inferior beast in the race by 17lbs.
Camelot’s victory on his return from major colic surgery was a good performance, though it took him more than 1f to get on top of his rivals and he wasn’t going away from them at the line. The gallop that day was undemanding – as evidenced by the field finishing in a heap behind O’Brien’s colt – making it difficult for him to showcase the true level of his superiority.
Al Kazeem’s comeback from a fractured pelvis at the same Group 3 level as Camelot’s last run was more visually impressive, with the Dubawi entire oozing into contention off a strong gallop in liquid fashion, before comfortably extending for the victory from the furlong pole.
However in a small field affair such as this year’s renewal of the Tattersalls Gold Cup, tactical pace could prove vital, with a demanding early pace highly unlikely and this may suit Camelot better than Al Kazeem.
Camelot won a 2000 Guineas and Racing Post Trophy over 1m, whereas Al Kazeem’s sole win over that trip was in his maiden and with the O’Brien colt out of a mare by French Guineas winner King Mambo there’s plenty of speed in his pedigree.
With a fitness-enhancing race under his belt he can continue his return to form and fitness by putting the Charlton colt in his place.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication