0.5pt each-way Mekong @33/1, 15:35 Ascot, Thursday

It’s very hard to see past Stradivarious picking up his second Ascot Gold Cup and a remarkable third Royal meeting success in a row. Although he remains almost impossible to oppose, he has demonstrated that he’s not invincible over his last two starts and he is certainly a better animal when the ground is quick. His pipe-opener was over too short a trip in 1m 4f, but he was beaten by Kew Gardens in the Long Distance Cup and back in fourth that day was MEKONG, who ran a fine race having coming from a fair way back.

Mekong has since switched yards from Sir Michael Stoute to Jamie Osborne and this his son of Frankel should have more race fitness than a few of these.

Mekong raced over in Meydan in January finishing fourth behind recent impressive winner Secret Adviser getting impeded before staying on over 1m 6f. The selection then arguably put in a career-best on his next start staying-on in the Longines Handicap over in Riyadh to finish behind the talented Call The Wind with the likes of Dee Ex Bee, Cross Counter and True Self all in behind where the form is certainly questionable.

But this will be his first step up to 2m 4f and he has potential to improve for it particularly with the way he relaxes at the back of the field in his races.

The rain on the way adds further claims and at 33/1 he should be able to outrun his odds into a place.

0.5pt each-way Mekong @33/1, 15:35 Ascot, Thursday (1-3 places, 1/5 odds)

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