Geordieland can scupper Yeats' historic fourth Ascot Gold Cup bid

Yeats is just 9/4 with Boylesports to land a fourth consecutive Ascot Gold Cup this afternoon and there won&rsquo;t be a more popular winner if he manages to secure his position among racing&rsquo;s true greats. Aidan O&rsquo;Brien&rsquo;s eight-year-old has won 14 of his 23 lifetime starts, netting a stunning &pound;1,146,977 along the way, and has never been beaten at Ascot. However, I&rsquo;ll be backing Jamie Osborne&rsquo;s <strong>GEORDIELAND</strong> to avenge last year&rsquo;s 5 length defeat.<br /><br />Racing circles are certainly split when it comes to whether Yeats has finally passed his sell-by date and I think it&rsquo;s too early to write him off after his disappointing reappearance. Yes, he was beaten out of sight by Alandi at Navan when he had previously won on his seasonal debut each of the previous three seasons, but it was the first time he had encountered ground described as &lsquo;soft&rsquo; since landing the Ballysax as a three-year-old.<br /><br />I certainly don&rsquo;t think connections would be running the horse if they thought he had &lsquo;gone&rsquo; and he is without doubt the one they all have to beat. However, Geordieland looked to have turned over a new leaf at Sandown last time when seeing off Patkai and I was really encouraged by his trainer&rsquo;s comments after that race. He mentioned that his stable star was now passing his lead horse for the first time at home and his days of ducking in behind and not going through with his effort are behind him. <br /><br />I cannot see anything else getting into it and certainly cannot recommend any of the Godolphin trio (I&rsquo;ll be looking to sell Veracity on the index with Sporting Index) or Patkai (even though he has won both previous starts here). I expect last year&rsquo;s first and second to draw clear again, but the big difference this time round being that Geordieland will go past Yeats and not get worried out of it.<br /><br />Elsewhere, Richard Hannon&rsquo;s Monsieur Chevalier is a short priced favourite in the Norfolk Stakes (2.30pm), but he is plenty short enough and I think he&rsquo;ll have an awful lot of ground to make up in the latter stages as he needs every yard of the five furlongs. The Americans have taken Ascot by storm this week and they could have another winner in the shape of <strong>YOGAROO</strong>. All of Wesley Ward&rsquo;s runners have shown blistering speed and the favourite may struggle to reel this one in from stall three.<br /><br /><strong>POINTERS...</strong><br /><strong>YOGAROO</strong> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Royal Ascot 2.30pm<br /><strong>GEORDIELAND</strong> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Royal Ascot 3.45pm<br />