Fame And Glory - Ascot 16/06/2011

Fame And Glory: will face eight rivals in the Gold Cup at Ascot on Thursday

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

Glory on course for Gold Cup repeat on Thursday

FAME AND GLORY will face eight rivals when he bids to follow up last year's victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained six-year-old stormed to success last year under Jamie Spencer and the pair will face up against Godolphin pair Colour Vision and Opinion Poll, who was second to Fame And Glory last season, as well as the John Oxx-trained Saddler's Rock.

Fame And Glory made a winning seasonal reappearance at Navan last month and Jim Hay, part-owner, said: "The folk at Ballydoyle say Fame And Glory is even better this year than he was last year so that is probably reflected in his odds now.

"Joseph [O'Brien] was really pleased [with his comeback run], he phoned me after the race and said he did everything him he asked him to do with great ease and, again, confirming what Aidan [O'Brien] has been saying that the horse is probably better than last year."

Speaking on At The Races, Hay added: "There's a lot of confidence behind the horse and Aidan is the master of preparing the horse for the big occasion so we're very hopeful.

"It certainly is a dream [to win the race twice] and hopefully he does it this time and we'll be back again next year."

Opinion Poll, who was partnered to success by Frankie Dettori at Sandown last time out, will be ridden by Mickael Barzalona while Dettori will ride the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Colour Vision. The pair are both available at 5-1.

The line-up is completed by outsiders Askar Tau, Bridge Of Gold, Caucus and Nehaam.

THINK Flat racing and most think of Royal Ascot. The hats - running the gamut from stunning to misguided - the pageantry, the Queen in her carriage, the tops 'n' tails, the champagne on lush green lawns and, not forgetting, the incredible racing come together to form one of Britain's most iconic sporting events.

Over five days in mid-June the nation's great and good descend upon the royal racetrack for an occasion rich in every sense - in heritage, in sporting merit,and in the vast array of wealth represented by the crowds of dukes, earls and oligarchs strutting before the grandstand.

For mere mortals Royal Ascot is a chance to watch and wonder at the elaborate outfits donned at the Berkshire racecourse and watch in wonder as the cream of British and Irish Flat talent square off against each other and - increasingly - the steady stream of raiders from Australia, America and other corners of the globe.

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