There is a stunning afternoon of racing coming up at Ascot (1.20-4.15) on British Champions Day at the Berkshire venue.
There are six races, with four at Group 1 level, and it’s going to be a testing affair with the ground officially soft (heavy in places).
You can watch every race from British Champions Day via live streaming when logged into MansionBet and our tipster has selections for all the action.
1.20 – Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2, 2m)
The mighty stayer STRADIVARIUS has one win and two narrow defeats in the Long Distance Cup, unable to match his Gold Cup dominance in this end-of-term test. He only went down an inch to Kew Gardens last year and this summer’s Gold Cup win was perhaps a best-ever from John Gosden’s prolific stayer. Three defeats this season have come at trips too short and little was made of his stamina in the Arc recently. This is his ball-park in terms of ground and staying power and he should be too strong.
Many of the opposition have questions against them on testing ground but not so Aidan O’Brien’s Broome. He also goes well fresh and, if he stays the new trip, the Australia colt cold be a major player at decent odds.
Selection: Stradivarius @
1.55 – Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1, 6f)
Dream Of Dreams deserves favouritism on his recent exploits, including last month’s Group 1 Sprint Cup win at Haydock. He’s yet to win at Ascot in five starts however, despite some very near misses, and was out with the washing in this race a year ago.
One Master should arrive with a strong late bid but perhaps a return to Ascot will see ART POWER taking that next elusive step. Tim Easterby’s charge looked made for Group 1 sprinting when he won here at the Royal Meeting and his Sprint Cup fourth was a step closer. He still has scope for better and three-year-olds do well in this race.
Selection: Art Power @
2.30 – Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1, 1m4f)
Amongst the most open of the contests on this Ascot card and Dame Malliot will surely thrive on the prevailing ground for Ed Vaughan and Hollie Doyle. She finished ahead of Wonderful Tonight (fifth) and Even So (sixth) in last month’s Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp and can confirm that form.
Perhaps FRANKLY DARLING is the forgotten horse in the line-up. Impressive winner of the Ribblesdale over C&D (good to soft) in June, she’s twice run down the field in The Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks since – races dominated by Love. With that imposing rival missing, John Gosden has freshened her up and she may do well back here with ease in the ground. Rab Havlin rides and, arguably, she’d be much shorter had Frankie Dettori been legged up.
Selection: Frankly Darling @
3.05 – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
Is the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes a one-horse race? That is a dangerous to assumption in a Champions Day Group 1 but very hard to forecast anything but a win for the unbeaten PALACE PIER here. He won a good St James’s Palace Stakes here at the Royal Meeting and his Jacques Le Marois success at Deauville in August came on heavy ground, so conditions won’t put him off. He’s rock-solid and should remain unbeaten.
The Revenant was second in this last year and the French raider should give a good solid account while the other Gosden runner, Nazeef, can also go well in the conditions.
Selection: Palace Pier @
3.40 – Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1, 1m2f)
A cracking race in prospect for the Champion Stakes and one in which last year’s winner MAGICAL is going to be a tough nut to crack. Aidan O’Brien’s mare was almost retired after this last year and the decision to race on has been rewarded handsomely with three more Group 1 wins. She lost out to Ghaiyyath in the Juddmonte at York in August but avenged that defeat in Ireland last month with a vintage display of guts and determination. Proven in the conditions, her rivals will have to go some to pinch her crown.
Three-year-old Mishriff sits closest in the betting but this is his toughest test by some way while last year’s second Addeybb is also involved having twice tasted Group 1 glory in Australia this year.
William Haggas’ charge was well beaten by Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes earlier this year here and it is he that can present the main threat to the mare. He handles testing ground and was just over a length off Magical at York in August.
Selection: Magical @
4.15 – Balmoral Handicap (Straight Mile)
The only handicap on the card and a race that can often throw up a group-race performer in the making (Lord North was second last year). Raaeq and Tempus certainly fit that criteria and both have leading chances, while Aidan O’Brien’s Keats is another with the class to go well after a Listed win in Ireland recently.
GRAIGNES hasn’t sparkled since arriving from France but George Baker’s runner had some smart form in his native land and, if he finds his best, he could be one to finish off the race strongly and have a say from off the pace as a mark of 104 shouldn’t preclude him on his handicap bow at a fancy price.
Selection: Graignes @
*All odds correct at time of writing