QIPCO British Champions Day 2021 Ascot

QIPCO British Champions Day 2021 Ante-Post Portfolio

Qipco Champion Stakes: Adayar 2-1 

QIPCO British Champions Day 2021 Ascot The Tips

Three winners from five bets sees me finish the day +8.5 to level stakes which will do nicely. 

It is Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot and we have Four Group One’s and a Group Two to enjoy with the small matter of £4 million prize money up for grabs.  I waited to bet on all but one of the races until this morning to get the best odds guaranteed for one and the markets were a bit of a mess and I obviously want to get the best prices I can! The five bets for Qipco British Champions Day follow.  

1.25 Group Two Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup – two-mile  

The opener looks to be all about the defending Champion Trueshan the five-year-old having won the G.1 Prix du Cadran Arc weekend with relative ease. Good to soft-soft in places ground is absolutely fine and a big run is expected. I think this is surely the last dance for Stradivarius and as much as I would like to see him go out on a high this game aint about sentiment and the younger horse has proved too good for him the last twice they have meet. 7-4 is plenty short enough but the Alan King trained bay with Hollie Doyle in the saddle is the one for me in the opener.  

2.00 Group One Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes – 6f

There was several entered that I could make a case for in this such as Art Power, Creative Force and the incredibly consistent Dragon Symbol to name just three. Dragon Symbol seems destined not to get the G.1 victory, he was of course first past the post in the G.1 Commonwealth Cup before the Stewards intervened. This will be his eleventh start of the year and that may also just be starting to take it’s toll. Art Power I have talked of before this season and I tipped him to win last time in a G.3 out in Ireland in which he duly obliged. The grey has come up short at the highest level on a few occasions now though and is drawn highest in stall twenty meaning he’ll be nearest the stands. Depending on how the race pans out that may prove an advantage, it may not! G.3 Jersey Stakes winner Creative Force was a running-on fifth in the G.1 July Cup Stakes in July, beaten just a neck in the 7f G.1 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and then perhaps a little disappointing in the G.1 Sprint Cup at Haydock over 6f last month. He has actually been behind Art Power twice this season (4th & 5th in the July Cup and 5th & 6th in the Sprint Cup) but the team at Moulton Paddocks feel he has learned a lot in his runs over sprint distances and certainly seem optimistic at the very least.  Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website on Friday “Creative Force is better with some ease in the ground, as he showed in the Jersey Stakes, and he will get his conditions tomorrow. There is a big difference between running over seven furlongs and sprinting at the top level, but we feel that he is beginning to grasp it. He has learnt plenty over the summer, will appreciate the ground and has course-winning form, so we feel that he ticks a lot of boxes.” This will surely be run at a strong pace and with this being a pretty stiff six furlongs he might be the one with the most left in the tank as they hit the line. It’s a tight call but I have plumped for the three-year-old gelding at 13-2.  

2.35 Group One Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes – 1m4f

The three-year-old's get 6lb from the older horses here and that looks likely to be significant to me. Snowfall is clearly not the wonder filly some were saying she was after her Oaks wins having been beaten in her last two starts, but she is a very good filly. This doesn’t look the strongest renewal to my eyes and she won’t need to be at her best to win, especially getting the 6lb she does from 110 rated Albaflora who is considered the biggest danger. My biggest concern is did the run in the Arc on heavy leave a mark? If she shows up in anywhere near the form we saw earlier in the year she wins. I have been waiting for a bit of Evens to be available but the Bookies are clearly running scared and she is still 4-6 this morning! I am on begrudgingly. 

3.10 Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By Qipco) - straight mile

Two of the best milers racing today Palace Pier and unbeaten three-year-old Baaeed face-off in this; add to that Alcohol Free and Master Of the Seas plus good old Benbatl and the French raider and winner last season The Revenant and this could be the race of the day! Palace Pier has suffered defeat just once in his ten career starts thus far that defeat coming in this race twelve months ago. Baaeed gets 3lb from the older colts and on OR’s at least that pretty much levels the playing field with Palace Pier. It shouldn’t be forgotten Alcohol Free gets a further 3lb as a three-year-old filly (6lb from the older colts) which on OR’s gives her every chance as well. I am very tempted to back the filly, you can’t knock the form of her Coronation Stakes win which was of course over track and trip, but she may have to settle for a place here. Charlie Appleby was talking of Master Of The Seas earlier this week and the one thing I took form the interview was the line “This is his stepping stone to Del Mar” suggesting today may not be the ultimate target. The Revenant hasn’t won since winning this last year which is a concern and Benbatl looks likely to be a gallant loser as I can’t see the old boy nicking this but if, and it's a big if, he gets his own way in front he could be in the mix. for me it comes down to the rising star versus the established king of the milers. Palace Pier is a class act and though it was fairly close he did beat Poetic Flare last time giving that colt 7lb. He will be hard to beat. Baaeed took the G.1 Prix du Moulin on his last outing easily enough and had three previous Group One winners behind him there. The official winning margin was just over a length but it looked pretty comfortable to my eye and what I liked was when he was asked the question by Jim Crowley he put his head down and galloped strongly to the line. I think it might be a case of the king is dead, long live the king and I am on the three-year-old at 9-4.

3.50 Group One Qipco Champion Stakes – 1m2f

Unbelievably the Jockeys Championship could literally go down to the wire there is a chance, though unlikely now with Oisin three in front, that Murphy and Buick will be level on winners by the time they go down for this – how mad would that be?! If it happens the chances of William Buick have been greatly enhanced by the fact Murphy doesn’t have a ride and Derby and King George winner Adayar runs in this and he will be onboard. Talking this week Charlie Appleby explained it was a piece of work the colt did on Wednesday that convinced him to let the three-year-old take his chance.  “It was an easy piece of work to confirm his well-being, and he did it so well. We discussed it with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the decision was taken to run. We are all looking forward to the rematch with Mishriff, particularly over this trip. Adayar beat Mishriff comfortably (a length and three quarters) in the King George, and then Mishriff came out and dominated the Juddmonte International at York, winning by six lengths, over the distance (approximately) of Saturday’s race. We are happy to meet him over the mile and a quarter, which is the trip where we believe Adayar’s potential lies next year.”  It is a big ask, in fact my stato mate tells me in the last ten years only Magical, in 2019, has won this having run in the Arc, but Adayar is still relatively lightly raced and has run off similar short breaks before albeit at lower level. I took a bit of the 2-1 about the Godolphin owned colt that was about on Thursday with Paddy Power as the likes of Hills and Ladbrokes were already shorter than that.  Mishriff is of course a danger but as impressive as he was in the Juddmonte International there was nothing in that field of the class of Adayar. Addeybb would be the pick for the tri-cast having a few things in his favour as he goes for back-to-back wins.

Thursday 14th October 2021

Derby and King George winner Adayar will run at Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday Charlie Appleby confirmed on Thursday morning. The three-year-old will go in the Group One Qipco Champion Stakes.

Monday 11th October 2021

It is QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday 16th October at Ascot with four Group One races and a Group Two. It is effectively the finale to the British Flat season, I'm still not a great lover of the new Championship set-up but it is what it is. On the day the Champion Jockey, Champion Trainer and Champion Owner are due to be crowned. Oisin Murphy still just leads William Buick on Monday morning in the Jockey table, Charlie Appleby leads the race to be top Trainer and Godolphin sit atop the Owners table. Basically all the Championships are still up for grabs and it should be a cracking days horse racing.

As I write on Monday the going, often such a talking point, is good, good-soft in places with the forecast for fair autumn weather this week all being well so we should get perfect racing ground. 

The ante-post markets are a bit of a mess at the moment with so many running plans as yet unconfirmed; a good example being Starman who is favourite for the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes in many books still but will definitely miss the race as he has been retired to stud!

Adayar may go for the Champion Stakes, something you may not have expected the colt having run in the Arc, with Charlie Appleby telling Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday “He will be left in the Champion Stakes tomorrow, for the simple reason at the moment he has come out of the Arc well. Should connections ask me next week how the horse is, and I say ‘jumping around’ and they say ‘where can we go?’, I’d look a bit daft saying I’d taken him out of the Champion Stakes on the Monday. He will stay in tomorrow. We’ve an open book and should connections want to run him again and I can’t at that time give a negative for not to run him, then the Champion Stakes will be looked at.”  Mishriff is also on course to run and will be looking to avenge his defeat in the 1m4f King George by the Derby winner if they face-off again.