King Kyprios rules once more in Gold Cup classic

Aidan O’Brien’s six-year-old regains his Royal Ascot crown following epic battle with Trawlerman.

Kyprios turned the tables on his old rival Trawlerman to regain his crown in a pulsating renewal of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien’s six-year-old was the dominant force in the division when landing the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece two years ago, also triumphing in the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger before a sensational 20-length victory in the Prix du Cadran.

A career-threatening injury restricted him to just two outings last season and he was beaten on both occasions, including a neck defeat to Trawlerman on Champions Day – but Kyprios reversed the form on the day that mattered most to become the first horse since Kayf Tara in 2000 to regain the Gold Cup.

Kyprios and Ryan Moore received a tremendous welcome on return to the winner's enclosure
Kyprios and Ryan Moore received a tremendous welcome on return to the winner’s enclosure (Molly Hunter/PA)

Following workmanlike wins on home soil this spring at Navan and Leopardstown respectively, the chestnut son of Galileo was sent off the 11-10 favourite and always looked well positioned in behind the front-running Trawlerman and the keen-going Caius Chorister.

Ryan Moore asked the strong-travelling Kyprios to close down Trawlerman at the top of the home straight and while the latter did not go down without a fight, Moore always looked confident his mount would find enough to get the job done and he eventually did just that, with a length separating the pair at the line.

Trawlerman’s John and Thady Gosden-trained stablemate Sweet William was five lengths further back in third, with Willie Mullins’ Vauban running well for a long way and momentarily looking a danger before ultimately faltering into fourth.

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