ITV Racing Saturday Preview
IT’S CHAMPIONS DAY FROM ASCOT! What a day with Palace Pier & Baaeed locking horns in the Queen Elizabeth II & Mishriff & Adayar doing battle again in the Champion Stakes!
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ITV Racing Preview Saturday Schedule
1.25 Ascot Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) 1m7f209y
2.00 Ascot Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) 6f
2.35 Ascot Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stake (Group 1) 1m3f211y
3.10 Ascot Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) 1m (Str)
3.50 Ascot Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1) 1m1f212y
4.30 Ascot Balmoral Handicap (Class 2) 1m (Str)
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What a way to kick off Champions Day at Ascot with Trueshan, Stradivarius and HAMISH taking each other on. It might surprise you somewhat but I’m going to take a chance on the latter. I find it fascinating that Haggas decided not to give him a tilt at the Ebor and instead sent him to Kempton probably with this race in mind. He ended up beating the classy Hukum and that horse has since hacked up in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes here at the start of the month. He is clearly improving fast and with the step up to 2 miles only going to bring out the best in him on breeding he has a massive chance of turning over the two favourites.
Trueshan probably has the edge on Stradivarius now especially if there is a drop of rain on Saturday. It will be a good race between the pair but I much prefer the unknown quantity of the selection to improve past the pair – who have also had a long enough season. If you’re looking to back one at a big price in here then Princess Zoe is probably the one. She didn’t run badly last time and should be spot on for this.
This is one of the biggest fields in the Champion Stakes for years and it looks ultra competitive and it is 5/1 the field at the time of writing. This meeting does tend to favour the far side but it could be the smaller fields going over there. As a result I am going to have a bet on both sides of the track with two groups expected on Saturday. ART POWER has picked up draw 20 of 20 but has pace plenty of pace around him in Happy Power, Highfield Princess and Gustavus Weston. His run and time figure at the Curragh last time were exceptional and the tactic of taking a lead rather than going to the front looked to payoff in a big way with an easy win. If Silverstre De Sousa sits in behind the leading 2 or 3 and strikes last Art Power is the one to beat if the far side doesn’t have a big advantage.
On the far side of the track MINZAAL could take another big step forward after a very good comeback run at the track two weeks ago. He was slow away and found trouble in running so to finish a length behind Tis Marvellous after over a year off with injury is a cracking run. He looked like a special horse winning the Gimcrack last season and looks to hold plenty of potential. If this race doesn’t come too soon he should go very well. Two dangers at bigger prices would be Happy Power who is in great form and I only just passed over her for Minzaal. The other is old boy Brando who is never far away in the sprints and could run another big race here. Creative Force is a horse I’ve liked for a long time and he wasn’t seen to best effect in the Sprint Cup at Haydock. If this pans out more favourably he also deserves plenty of respect.
This may well be all about Snowfall for some and if she brings her best form to the table then she will take an awful lot of beating but I wouldn’t want to take a short price and it wouldn’t surprise me if ALBAFLORA relished these conditions. She hacked up over C&D in a Listed race on return and hasn’t run badly in defeat since. She found all bar Snowfall too good at York and if the favourite does underperform after her Arc excursions then the selection looks a bit price. I think she is the most consistent and that could win the day here.
Invite impressed me at Chester but this is much tougher and while she has potential I think she has been overbet slightly. Eshaada is the one that appeals at bigger prices as I don’t think she gave her running in the Yorkshire Oaks and if you put a line through that she is very interesting on the promise she showed initially. The rest look to be outclassed and I can’t really see an upset in this.
This looks like a cracking renewal of the Champions Mile with Group 1 winners galore in here. PALACE PIER gets the vote to avenge last years loss in the race. That what his only loss of his career when the conditions came up pretty soft and he lost a shoe. He has won all 4 races this year fairly well but not by big margins. He is rated the best in here and I think he will be good enough on what he has shown this year to hold them all off.
Baaeed is the obvious danger getting the 3 year old allowance. He is unbeaten with 5 wins from 5 and is only rated 4lb behind Palace Pier. He will put up a big effort and we will really see how good William Haggas’ colt is. Buick and Murphy have squeaks in Master Of the Seas and Alcohol Free plus last years winner The Revenant looks a big price considering he thrives at this time of year.
I can’t wait for the rematch between ADAYAR and Mishriff. I know this shorter trip is likely to suit the latter but I still think the selection has more to offer and as long as those Arc excursions haven’t taken too much out of him he can resume his progression here. For me he is still one of the most promising horses in training and this would cap off a fine season where he has already tasted success in The Derby and the King George. If he produces his best here it should be enough to win.
Mishriff is obviously a huge danger as he improved from that King George second to win the Juddmonte impressively at York last time. Another run like that has him bang there. Addeybb best of the rest but needs rain.
The second biggest field ever for this race with 23 set to go to post in the finale on Saturday. It is as wide open as ever so I am going to have two in this starting with NUGGET who is a horse we have followed plenty this season and is still improving all the time. He had a break before his Haydock run last month and won that by a neck but the time figure ranks really highly in this field. That should put him spot on for this and he should go really well with a bit of luck in running.
I noted SALTONSTALL down for this after he finished fourth in the Irish Cambridgeshire in August. He ran a cracker that day and is a few pounds better off here. He isn’t really well handicapped but he seems a big price and may be overlooked in the race. There are plenty of dangers with Sir Busker running off 111 he must have a fair chance based on his top class Group 1 form and looks a fair each way price.
ITV Racing Champions Day Mixed Acca
It doesn’t get much better than this! A cracking days racing from Ascot on Champions Day and we have produced a Mixed Acca for you from our selections on Saturday. Pays 25/1!