QIPCO British Champions Day 2023 Ascot
QIPCO British Champions Day 2023 Ascot The Tips
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. The bets for Qipco British Champions Day follow.
With meetings across the country being lost to the battering storm Babet is giving the British isles right now luckily Ascot has missed the worst of it and racing goes ahead on Qipco British Champions Day. We will be racing on two tracks as such with the Champion Stakes, along with the Long Distance Cup and the Fillies & Mares Stakes, now being run on the inner circuit, which is good to soft, soft in places. The straight course is soft for the Sprint and the
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. We could see some more rain yet this morning and possibly during racing.
1.15 Group Two Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup – two-mile
The first is the only Group Two on the card, the Long Distance Cup for which Dirty Dozen member Kyprios has been trading as jolly for a while. Only seen once since his unbeaten 2022 campaign he was second in the Irish St. Leger back in September, frankly not knocked about, in what looked like a pipe-opener after so long off the track. Anywhere near the form that saw him win the Prix du Cadran last back end by twenty lengths, on very-soft and despite hanging across the track adding about half a furlong to the trip late on, he will win this. I noted Aidan O’Brien saying before his run in the Irish St. Leger "He will improve a lot for the run. It's his first start for a long time and what he went through was horrendous. I can't believe he is at the stage he is at, but he will definitely improve a lot.” I am on at 6-4 in the hope he is somewhere near his best. A revitalised Trueshan is the obvious danger.
1.50 Group One Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes – 6f
The 6f Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes has last year's winner Kinross at the head of the market, due in no small part to a certain Mr Dettori being in the saddle no doubt. You can be sure anything Dettori is on will be a point or two shorter than it should what with this being Ascot and his last swansong; well kind of though let's be honest now he is going across the pond to ride rather than retire it’s a fairly safe bet he’ll be back next summer riding a few for Wesley Ward at the Royal Meeting. I had to take notice when I read a recent interview with Charlie Fellowes about the chances of Vadream. “It’s a Group One and a very good Group One as always. But as everyone knows, she is excellent when the ground gets horrible. This year she has put in three of her best ever runs and if she does what she did at Ascot (last time) and behaves the way she did before the race and is able to jump out and get a position close to the pace like she did there, then she will go there with as good a chance as she’s ever had because she loves that ground and there are not many horses who are as good as her on that ground.” On OR’s she has plenty to find on Kinross but at 7-1 can be backed as an each-way bet to nothing and that is what I have done.
2.25 Group One Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes – 1m4f
Time Lock is a filly I have talked of and tipped before and Roger Charlton is reportedly excited about the 'fairytale' prospect of her bringing the curtain down on his training partnership with son Harry by winning this. She certainly has a chance but it would require a career best effort. Free Wind is another I have tipped before and she also has a chance but her price is undoubtedly shortened with a certain Mr Dettori getting the leg-up. Above The Curve is a consistent type who can certainly place-up. Jackie Oh looks the best of the three-year-olds lining-up. Beaten a neck by Blue Rose Cen in the G.1 Prix de l'Opera Longines over 1m2f earlier this month on good to soft she has winning form on soft and heavy. She gets 6lb from the older fillies and mares and that has to be considered and I see no reason why she won’t stay the trip especially on going she will likely enjoy more than most. I am on at 7-2.
3.05 Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By Qipco) - straight mile
The participation of Tahiyra is in the balance with Dermot Weld being very open about the fact he wouldn’t want too much rain for her. The trainer was very vocal from the start of the season about a tilt at the Breeders Cup being the aim and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't risk her here with that meeting just around the corner; she is still in as I write but I think she'll be a non-runner. I tipped Big Rock in the G.1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois where he was second to Inspiral having been second to Ace Impact in the 1m2f G.1 Prix du Jockey Club before that. He was second again in the G.1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last time and I can’t see him getting back to winning ways here. Dirty Dozen member and Guineas winner Chaldean has an each-way chance but was beaten by Paddington in the St James's Palace Stakes and I see no reason he can reverse the from; was disappointing in the 7f Prix Jean Prat last time. I always thought Paddington would come for this, especially with the likely underhoof conditions; proved he stayed 1m2f when winning the Eclipse but the ground today will be very different from that in July at Sandown. The colt won the G.1 Sussex Stakes on very soft going at Goodwood (I was there and it was wet!) and dropping back down in trip following his third in the 1m2f International Stakes at York looks the correct decision all things considered. Nashwa was in front of him at York by a neck collaring him late home, over this trip I can’t see the filly doing that to him again. I have a bit of the 9-4 about the three-year-old.
3.45 Group One Qipco Champion Stakes – 1m2f
French raider Horizon Dore has been top of the market this week and the G.2 Qatar Prix Dollar winner has plenty of form on soft which has to be seen as a positive here. That said he is only rated 111 and you would usually want one on a higher mark than that to win a Champion Stakes. He has been winning in style in France but I wouldn’t fancy the horses he beat in the G.2 Qatar Prix Dollar in this. Last year's winner Bay Bridge is back again but he has got into the habit of finding one or two too good this season and isn’t sure to be at his best on the going. Derby second King Of Steel just can’t quite get that Group one win. Beaten fair and square in the G.1 1m4f King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes he was then fourth in the 1m2f G.1 Irish Champion Stakes. With owners Amo Racing no longer retaining Kevin Stott, Dettori has been called up for what is scheduled to be the Italian’s final mount in Europe before his switch to America; if it wasn’t for the fact Dettori rides he would be a bigger price I guarantee you. Connections of Mostahdaf were making worrying noises about the going early in the week with Angus Gold racing manager for owner-breeders Shadwell saying ‘when he raced on it in last year’s Arc (heavy going) he couldn’t handle that at all.’ The change of track is perhaps most significant for this colt and now on the inner and good to soft (soft in places) his chances have improved. Via Sistina has form on soft and heavy going including when beaten a nose in the 1m2f G.1 Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August; I tipped her. Winner of the G.1 1m2f Pretty Polly at the Curragh on good to yielding earlier this year she won the 1m1f G.2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket prior to that on soft. She has a big each-way shout for me. Connections deliberately missed the G.1 Prix de l’Opera due to the unseasonably dry weather in Paris earlier this month and I noted trainer George Boughey saying this week 'The forecast for France looked like it was going to dry up ahead of the Prix de l’Opera and it certainly did. Steve and Becky Hillen (owners), and fair play to them, they wanted to wait for Ascot and thankfully the rain looks like it’s coming. There’s a chance the race may be held on the inner loop and there could be 50 per cent more runners in the fillies’ and mares’ race, so it could get messy. I think the Champion looks the right spot for her. The more time she has between her runs, the better she is as well. I still think her best performance of the year was on very soft ground at Newmarket, having had a long break through the winter. She’s very fit and very fresh and ready to rock and roll.' Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride. She gets the filly and mare allowance and that 3lb along with the ground conditions could prove vital. I am on at 15-2 and hope we get some extra rain in the afternoon for her.