We are in store for a fantastic Champions Day and our man Sam Boswell has shared his thoughts on the action from Ascot.
Flat fans have enjoyed a brilliant season full of outstanding racing and drama, Champions Day at Ascot should provide a fitting close to the titanic jockey’s title battle between William Buick and reigning champ Oisin Murphy. Three wins separate the pair, with a title defense most likely, but Ascot Saturday will decide which of the pair claim the title and reward some of the very best flat horses with well-deserved accolades. I have looked at each race to offer a suggestion of where the value may be found.
Master Of Reality E/W
A race that the market will focus mostly on Stradivarius and Trueshan, they clashed in France last time out with Alan King’s horse coming out on top, the drying ground could favour John Gosden’s horse to reverse that result.
With both having had long campaigns I am keen to try and seek some each-way value elsewhere, BetVictor offer four places and I think at 50/1 Master Of Reality can outrun his price.
The gelding by Frankel has run just four times this season and I think that could play into his favour considering others have been much busier, he has quite the CV having run twice and placed in a Melbourne Cup in the past. The ground looks fine, he may just cause a shock in the first race on Champions Day.
The Jockeys Championship will be decided on Champions Day at Ascot.
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✍️ Comment down below who you think will win the Champion Stakes (15:50) at Ascot on Saturday.
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Last Empire E/W
It is fair to say the Champion Sprint looks to be one of the most open races on the card and cases can certainly be made for many here. Four places are on offer for each-way players and I am prepared to put one up at a huge price.
Last Empire on the face of it has a bit to find with many in here but the return to six furlongs is a big positive. Having led early in France two weeks ago it was not a surprise to see her tire on the heavy ground over the seven furlongs.
That was her first run since winning at Goodwood back in July, I think she will come on for that effort abroad and could just outrun her price in a wide-open race.
Snowfall - NAP
This race saw some significant changes in the last 48 hours with Snowfall being rerouted with stablemate Love being ruled out. On paper, the Oaks winner looks a cut above these and the price around evens a gift.
I would look to enhance that price by using BetVictor’s lengthen the odds market and have her winning this by two or more lengths to try and eke out a bit more value from what looks like the Nap of the meeting.
Another group one race and another epic class Palace Pier and Baaeed both put their seasonal unbeaten records on the line over the mile.
Palace Pier was beaten in this race last season by the French horse The Revenant 12 months ago, but that came in different ground conditions and the slightly better surface should play into the hands of Palace Pier.
I think despite having to give the three pounds to Baaeed he can confirm his superiority over William Haggis’s rising star.
Champion Stakes - Ascot 15:50
Adayar should in theory be the star name in the line-up of the Champion Stakes, the Derby winner has been impressive this year with a King George win over his elders and a creditable fourth in the Arc last time out.
When he and favourite Mishriff met in the King George the weight difference was significantly more and I think Mishriff does have a fair reason to be favourite.
My big concern is the reappearance of Adayar so soon after the Arc whereas John Gosden’s horse has had a nice break since we last saw him winning very impressively at York, for that reason I think he will turn the tables and give John Gosden another big race winner.
Raise You E/W
We close with a tricky handicap which has Sunray Major the course and distance winner as the firm favourite, for all he commands respect at the prices I am itching to take him on each way as we have five places on offer with BetVictor.
Raise You has not been seen for quite some time in comparison to most horses in this contest. One of his best runs came in the big field handicap win at the Curragh on similar ground to what we can expect today, I think he has form and the background to make a firm place claim here.