Rites of Passage Early Ascot Gold Cup Favourite
The Dermot Weld-trained gelding won the Group 1 race in 2010 but has raced only twice since after suffering a number of injuries that has restricted him to only twelve career starts since his debut in 2008.
Rites of Passage only raced one in 2012 when he defeated a quality field to win the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
The son of Giant’s Causeway worked at Curragh after racing concluded on Monday and Weld was impressed with what he saw.
“I was very happy with Rite Of Passage, who worked after racing,” Weld said.
“He is on track for the Gold Cup, having set a track record in the race when he won it in 2010.
“He will go for the Saval Beg at Leopardstown before going to Ascot.
“As I said last year, the two races are too close together, but there aren’t any other options for him really.”
Defending champion Colour Vision on the second line of the Gold Cup betting market and is currently priced at 8/1.
The Rainbow Quest gelding has failed to fire since his 2012 Gold Cup victory and finished last in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at his last start.
The lightly raced Estimate, owned by The Queen, has also been well found in Gold Cup antepost betting.
The Michael Stoute-trained galloper resumed with an impressive victory in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes and is being set for a big campaign in 2013.
Consistent stayer Times Up is on the next line of betting and connections will be hoping he can recapture his late season of 2012 when he won the Lonsdale Cup at York and the Doncaster Cup.
Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos is currently available at Gold Cup odds of 10/1 but is unlikely to contest the race with Cumani confirming that the 2013 Melbourne Cup was the long term goal for the son of Montjeu.
You can find the best 2013 Gold Cup odds at Bet365.