Horse Racing: British Champions Day at Ascot – Preview & Tips

It's a world-class card at Ascot for Qipco British Champions Day - the grand finale of the flat racing season.

Stefan Fellows

Qipco British Champions Day is the flat season’s grand finale, featuring no fewer than four Group 1 contests at Ascot.

The most valuable race is the Champion Stakes, which Magical will be attempting to win for the second year in succession.

We also have the renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes to look forward to with Palace Pier bidding to make it 6 from 6.

Horse Racing

2m Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)

2018 winner and leading stayer Stradivarius will be very hard to beat here reverting back to his optimum trip.

He is also 5 from 7 here at Ascot and 3 from 4 on soft ground so conditions look ideal for the John Gosden trained, Frankie Dettori ridden runner.

Well clear on official figures being some 8lbs clear to his nearest rivals he is going to take some beating if the quick turnaround of just 13 days from his midfield finish in the Arc has left no mark.

The most solid alternative to the favourite looks to be Search For A Song. This Galileo filly had the measure of the reopposing Fujaira Prince last time out in the Irish St Leger and the way she finished her race that day suggested she could improve once more over staying distances.

The Dermot Weld runner receives a handy 3lbs age allowance and providing the ground is not too testing should give the favourite most to think about.

Aidan O’Brien saddles 3 of the runners in the line-up but all have something to prove in regards either recent form or effectiveness over this type of distance.

Selection: Search For A Song

6f Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)

Dream Of Dreams arrives here is in the best form of his career on the back of winning his last 2 starts including success in the Sprint Cup at Haydock recently.

Whilst he has failed to find the winners enclosure from 5 attempts here at Ascot in the past, he has a couple of solid placed efforts to his name at the Berkshire venue including when just being denied in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June.

With conditions ideal and arriving here in good heart, he looks a worthy favourite. The Roger Teal trained Oxted has had a wind opperation since his July Cup success.

He looks to be improving still and the layoff is of no concern since having gone well fresh in the past, however, there is a small doubt about his effectiveness under softer conditions.

Cape Byron is 4 from 8 here at Ascot and doesn’t mind cut underfoot, he’s a good record fresh also so the lay off is not the biggest of worries so could pick up some place money.

While the unbeaten 3-year-old Starman adds another interesting element to the race he does have to prove himself stepping up to the highest grade following a listed success last time

Selection: Dream Of Dreams

1m 4f Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)

Dame Malliot had a couple of these behind her when finishing third at Longchamp on her latest start and with conditions to suit once more looks the pick of the older horse.

Three-year-old’s receive a handy allowance here though and that has proven to make a difference in the past with 8 of last 12 winners all being from the younger generation.

With that in mind preference on this occasion is for the Ger Lyons trained Even So who was unsuited by the way the race played out at Longchamp and could have more to offer on her 2nd start after a break.

Prior to that, she had shown herself to be a high-class filly when winning the Group 1 Irish Oaks and a return to that level should see her go close.

Wonderful Tonight was successful in a Group 1 at Longchamp at the Arc meeting and is another to consider if she can follow that run up on the back of a short lay off.

Selection: Even So (Next Best)

Royal Ascot Horse Racing

1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1)

It`s hard to oppose the unbeaten Palace Pier here as he bids to make it 6 from 6.

The John Gosden trained runner is proven under conditions at the top level following his success in the St James Palace at the Royal meeting.

He has since won a Group 1 at Deaville. He has the measure of Circus Maximus on that run so the biggest danger looks to the French raider The Revenant.

He was second in this race last season and made a good reappearance when winning a Group 2 at Longchamp on his first start since.

Selection: Palace Pier

1m 2f Qipco Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1)

The consistent mare Magical hardly ever puts a foot wrong and last year’s winner of the race is expected to be tough to beat once more.

She has been in top form once more this season winning 3 of her 4 starts including when winning the Irish Champion Stakes recently.

With her holding the likes of Lord North and Addeybb on various form lines the biggest danger looks likely to be the improving 3-year-old Mishriff who could have more progression still to come and has to be respected for Gosden/ Dettori combination.

Selection: Magical (NAP)

1m Balmoral Handicap (Class 2)

No surprise to end with a competitive-looking handicap but it`s the Cambridgeshire form and in particular, Bell Rock and Tempus who make most appeal.

The former finished ahead that day and races here off the same mark so looks to hold every chance of confirming that form with the first-time cheekpieces another potential aid. That said he is unproven on ground this soft so preference is for previous course and distance winner Tempus.

The Roger Charlton trained runner was a winner last season on heavy ground and looks adaptable to underfoot conditions, progressive this season and back under ideal conditions he looks the one to be with.

The Jessie Harrington trained Njord has some good form to his name this season including when third in the Irish Cambridgeshire. He wasn’t at his best last time in a listed race but should go well back in a handicap with conditions to suit

Selection: Tempus (Each Way)

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