Brown Panther is set to strike in the Gold Cup

Michael Owen and Brown Panther
Michael Owen and Brown Panther
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Brown Panther can continue his progression by landing the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for trainer Tom Dascombe and part-owner Michael Owen.

Owen has thrown himself head first into the racing game after his retirement from football.

Brown Panther was bred by Owen himself out of his mare, Treble Heights, so the success he has enjoyed with the six-year-old surely means more to him than if he had just opened his cheque book.

Already a winner at the Royal meeting having taken the King George V Stakes at three, he has also finished second in the St Leger and run well in the Melbourne Cup for connections.

He appears to have really matured this season as he always needed plenty in his favour to show his best in previous years, but this campaign has seen him hack up at Chester and win the Henry II Stakes – arguably the best trial for this – in great style at Sandown.

It is hard to see anything that finished behind him there turning the tables, as the extra trip should suit the selection given he was going away at the line, so it appears he has Leading Light to beat.

Last year’s St Leger winner looked as good as ever when beating a solid field in the Vintage Crop Stakes on his return, but there has to be stamina doubts about him, despite the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt winning the Queen’s Vase last year over two miles. He was much the best horse in that so did not win through stamina and that extra four furlongs may just seem an awful long way.

Un De Sceaux, ridden by Ruby Walsh, at last year's Cheltenham Festival. PIC: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

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