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Saturday Racing Preview: Ascot Champions Day


The flat season is winding down which means it's time for Champions Day at Ascot. There are plenty of Group 1 stars on show and here we preview all the big races on Saturday...

13:20 Ascot - Long Distance Cup

It’s been a long season for Stradivarius but he really should have too much class for this field and while he’s had the additional exertion of a trip to France, he didn’t have the toughest race in the Arc when given a poor ride. Broome is an interesting contender for Aidan O’Brien but will have to have come on a bundle for his run in the Coronation Cup to trouble the favourite. Search For A Song rates as the likeliest candidate to follow Stradivarius home but is unproven in likely tough conditions. The ground will prove no such problem for Monica Sheriff who can go well at a big price from a handy draw in stall 2; she’s been slightly disappointing this season but her run last time out was too bad to be true and better can be expected on Saturday.

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Stradivarius
  2. Search For A Song
  3. Monica Sheriff

13:55 Ascot - Sprint Stakes

The last two renewals of the race produced big-priced winners but this looks to be at the mercy of Dream of Dreams, who has really kicked on this season and vitally will have no issues with the ground. It would be no surprise to see Glen Shiel follow him home again with the ultra-consistent One Master expected to be bang there too following another victory in the Foret last time. Of the three-year-olds, Starman clearly has a bright future but is unproven in conditions, although there’s hope on breeding. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Dream of Dreams
  2. Glen Shiel
  3. Starman

14:30 Ascot - Fillies & Mares Stakes

The Prix Vermeille may offer the best pointer towards this contest with Dame Malliot, Laburnum, Wonderful Tonight and Even So all within a length and a half of each other that day. If the ground comes up on the heavy side on Saturday then Dame Malliot and Wonderful Tonight are likely the two to focus on, but such is Aidan O’Brien’s record in the race it may be worth siding with Laburnum, who didn’t get the clearest of runs at Longchamp and has been there or thereabouts all season. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Laburnum
  2. Dame Malliot
  3. Wonderful Tonight

15:05 Ascot - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Palace Pier answered the final remaining question as to his superstar credentials when sluicing home in heavy ground last time and he’s odds-on for a reason here. The Revenant was a good second in this race last year and looks likely to repeat that, while Century Dream can fight out the finish in his favoured conditions. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Palace Pier
  2. The Revenant 
  3. Century Dream

15:40 Ascot - Champion Stakes 

Magical and Addeybb fought out last year’s finish and a repeat would very much be on the cards were it not for the three-year-old fly in the ointment, Mishriff. Campaigned primarily in France this season by John Gosden, the form of his Prix Du Jockey Club victory has yet to really be boosted but it’s been impossible to not be taken by his performances visually. He gets weight off the market leaders here and there’s a suspicion that Magical may have just been primed for her win in the Irish Champion Stakes last time. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Mishriff
  2. Magical
  3. Addeybb

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