The Gold Cup shares top billing with fabulous frocks on Ladies` Day at Royal Ascot and, if you are looking for an omen bet in the feature race, Colour Vision fits the bill.
Run over two and a half miles, the Gold Cup is Ascot`s oldest race and one of just three Royal Ascot events that conclude with the monarch of the day presenting the trophy.
The connections of Fame And Glory met Queen Elizabeth II after last year`s Gold Cup and the Aidan O`Brien-trained six-year-old entire is around evens to earn his owners, trainer and jockey another audience with Her Majesty.
Twelve months ago, Fame And Glory was three lengths too good for Opinion Poll, who returns to Royal Ascot as well. But he followed up his Gold Cup victory with two below-par efforts and, although he has bounced back and won his most recent two starts, his superiority over Opinion Poll diminished.
Runner-up to Sea The Stars in the 2009 Epsom Derby, Fame And Glory is an accomplished racehorse who, admittedly, proved himself as good as any stayer during the 2011 season. But he is susceptible to an improving type and, therefore, punters looking for a value bet are likely to pass over him.
That improving type could be Colour Vision and he looks like the best investment in the race at around the 9-2 mark. The four-year-old gelding progressed with every race last year, with his achievements including several handicap wins and thirds in both the Cesarewitch and the Long Distance Cup.
Bearing in mind that Colour Vision was a three-year-old and a mere baby in staying terms during the 2011 season, those efforts are all the more impressive. And he was somewhat unfortunate not to get closer to Fame And Glory than the one and a quarter lengths that separated them at the finishing post of the Long Distance Cup staged at Ascot in October.
Colour Vision kicked off his four-year-old campaign with a good win over 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux. That was the son of Rainbow Quest`s debut for Godolphin after being transferred to Saeed bin Suroor from Mark Johnston.
Heading in the right direction and capable of significant improvement, Colour Vision makes considerable appeal to upset hot favourite Fame And Glory, whose handler O`Brien has made a habit of winning the Gold Cup in recent years.
The Ribblesdale Stakes over a mile and a half is, arguably, the next-best race on day three of Royal Ascot. And unlike, the Gold Cup, it has a short-priced runner worth backing.
The Fugue went off the 11-4 Oaks favourite and met trouble en route to finishing a three-quarter-of-a-length third to Was. John Gosden has wraps on the daughter of Dansili and expects her not only to reverse Epsom form with Shirocco Star but also register her third win in five runs.
Bookmakers have The Fugue at around the 2-1 mark for the Ribblesdale Stakes and that, considering the high esteem in which her trainer holds her, looks generous, particularly when compared to the Gold Cup offers about Fame And Glory.
© Frixo 2013