Pallasator, estimated at 12/1 in early market forecasts, can spring a huge surprise by claiming the Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen’s 90th Birthday, the highlight on day three of Royal Ascot on Thursday.
Aidan O’Brien’s Order Of St George is a short price to build on the promise he has shown so far but having run over no further than a mile and six furlongs, the step up to two and a half miles on testing ground is a huge question mark.
In contrast, the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Pallasator has won over two and a quarter miles and has shown an aptitude for soft conditions having won on heavy at Haydock, where the ground is certainly searching when wet.
Pallasator looked to be a horse on the up in 2014, but he was a bit disappointing last term before finally coming good with a comfortable three-quarter-length success in the Doncaster Cup last September.
He met with trouble in running in his final start of the year in the Long Distance Cup at this track, finishing behind the reopposing Flying Officer and Clever Cookie after being checked in his challenge with a couple of furlongs to run.
Pallasator would have finished closer but for his impeded passage and showed he had not gone backwards from that when beating Suegioo, Max Dynamite and Burmese on his return in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown last month.
The Motivator gelding was conceding weight all round but won with the minimum of fuss by two and a quarter lengths without Oisin Murphy having to go for top gear.
Prescott admits the main concern for Pallasator will be the preliminaries as he does tend to get worked up before the off and has his quirks, but if he can keep his cool, he could outrun his odds and serve it up to the favourite.
Royal Ascot: 2.30 Peace Envoy, 3.05 Blue De Vega, 3.40 Architecture, 4.20 PALLASATOR (NAP), 5.00 Mustashry, 5.35 Lovell.
Chelmsford: 1.50 Baileys Showgirl, 2.20 Eurato, 2.55 Firmament, 3.30 Street Artist, 4.05 Blind Faith, 4.45 Scarpeta, 5.20 Roy’s Legacy.
Ffos Las: 6.10 Detank, 6.40 She’s Late, 7.10 Heist, 7.40 Bedrock Fred, 8.10 Hold Court, 8.40 Cape Caster, 9.10 Bumble Bay.
Leicester: 6.30 Shadow Warrior, 7.00 Victorie De Lyphar, 7.30 Ponty Royale, 8.00 Cosmic Chatter, 8.30 Ghinia, 9.00 Ettie Hart.
Lingfield: 5.50 Tabla, 6.20 High Acclaim, 6.50 Pharoh Jake, 7.20 Clumber Street, 7.50 Hint Of Grey, 8.20 Elegant Annie, 8.50 Wattaboutsteve.
Ripon: 2.10 Await The Storm, 2.45 Hit The Lights, 3.20 Isharah, 3.55 Gulf Of Poets, 4.35 Van Mildert, 5.10 Flash City, 5.45 Eastern Dragon.
Double: Pallasator and Architecture.