Stradivarius wins 2018 Gold Cup in thrilling fashion.  
Stradivarius wins 2018 Gold Cup in thrilling fashion.  |NBC Sports

Royal Ascot Thursday: Garrity picks the two Group races, the Jersey Stakes and the 2.5 mile Gold Cup

Garrity's first post is at 9:25 am EDT.

Chris Garrity

It’s Thursday at Royal Ascot, and while the card might not be the strongest of the week, there are still two Group races, and we have plays in both. We’ll be brief: we will note only that we expecting the same soft turf they’ve had the first two days of the meet. Let’s go.

Ascot, Race 3, 9:25 am ET

Group 3 Jersey Stakes, 7 furlongs, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

Trainer John Gosden sends out 4-King Leonidas in the Jersey Stakes, and we think he’s a strong play: He’s undefeated in two career starts, and we see no reason that his streak will end here. Picking winners at Ascot is hard, generally speaking, but this one looks easy: We will bet King Leonidas to win at 7/2, and we will do so enthusiastically. The bet: Ascot, Race 3, $50 to win on 4-King Leonidas.

Ascot, Race 5, 10:35 am ET

Group 1 Gold Cup, 2 ½ miles, Turf, 4 & Up

Gosden also sends out the favorite here, 4-Stradivarius, a proven marathoner who has won both of his career starts at races two miles or longer. While a win by Stradivarius would not be a surprise, we are not comfortable backing him at a short price, and instead like 8-Technician, a 4-year-old whose form last fall was razor-sharp, earning good figures winning the last two races in his 2019 campaign. He’s coming off a layoff, having last run in October, and he’s running farther than he ever has before, but we think he is ready to show that he’s one of the best stayers in Europe. We will bet him to win at 5-1. The bet: Ascot, Race 5, $35 to win on 8-Technician.

That’s all for now. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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