By Andrew Atkinson

Aidan O’Brien’s 2018 St Leger winner Kew Gardens will miss the 2m 4f Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on June 18.

Kew Gardens (ante-post 4-1) was deemed a major threat to Stradivarius at Royal Ascot: “We wasn’t 100 per cent happy with him – so we decided to by-pass Royal Ascot,” said Ballydoyle trainer O’Brien.

Kew Gardens’ last outing was in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day in October 2019, in a race that ended Stradivarius’s 10 race unbeaten run, gaining a nose verdict.

John Gosden trained Stradivarius, winner of the Ascot Gold Cup in 2018 and 2019, is odds-on favourite to have a hat-trick tilt, after finishing third behind Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup on his re-appearance at Newmarket this month.