It’s Champions Day at Ascot today and we have tips in all six races on a stunning card that includes four Group ones.
Long Distance Cup
First up are the stayers and the Long Distance Cup looks to be at the mercy of either AGENT MURPHY or FLYING OFFICER.
The former rightfully looks likely to go off at the head of the market as Brian Meehan’s rapidly improving four year old is sure to be suited by this trip given the way he saw out the Irish St Ledger on his last start. He needs a bit of give underfoot so conditions should be ideal.
Flying Officer is a lightly raced five year old who looks to be reaching peak form at the right time. He was still a bit backward when sixth in this contest last year and the ground was way too soft for him then.
|Agent Murphy (ew)||12.45 Ascot||6/1||Bet365|
|Flying Officer (ew)||12.45 Ascot||15/2||Bet365|
Next up are the sprinters and STRATH BURN is our strong fancy here. He was narrowly beaten by Twilight Son last time out in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock and can improve past that rival here, provided he is drawn on the right side of the track.
Our other fancies, Maarek and The Tin Man are also drawn low so in terms of selections we will put all of our eggs in Strath Burn’s basket.
|Strath Burn (ew)||1.20 Ascot||8/1||Bet365|
Fillies & Mares Stakes
The Fillies and Mares follow and after all the success he had with his great jumpers like The Fellow and Barracuda it is great to see Francois Doumen back here with a challenger in a big race.
SEA CALISI has a major chance for him as she will be suited by the better ground here having run well behind the likely favourite today, Candarliya, on very soft ground at Longchamp last time out.
|Sea Calisi (ew)||1.55 Ascot||7/1||Bet365|
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes revolves around Gleneagles and Solow, but there are doubts again about the former’s participation on the ground, whilst the latter’s winning run surely cannot go on forever, so we are going to take a chance on French raider TERRITORIES, who is reported to have matured well over the summer. He’ll appreciate racing on some better ground here.
We also think a big outsider could make the frame and it was a toss-up for us between Elm Park and BELARDO. At the prices, we are going to take a shot with the latter who is quirky, but very talented if putting his best hoof forward.
|Territories (ew)||2.30 Ascot||11/1||Bet365|
|Belardo (ew)||2.30 Ascot||50/1||Bet365|
JACK HOBBS is the star turn in the Champion Stakes and he could outclass these if overcoming an unfavourable draw.
Racing History and The Corsican are improving horses who could give the favourite plenty to do, whilst the mare, Ribbons, is consistent and has conditions to suit. She could easily grab a place as a fast run race would really help her, but the standout 66/1 Stan James are offering about LIGHTNING SPEAR is hard to ignore. It will look a huge price if the step up in trip brings about any improvement.
|Jack Hobbs (win)||3.05 Ascot||6/4||Bet365, Stan James|
|Lightning Spear (ew)||3.05 Ascot||66/1||Stan James|
The getting out stakes for punters is a fiercely competitive mile handicap and we like EMPIRE STORM and MUSSADDAS, who are drawn on opposite sides.
The former ran really well over 7f here last time out, but this is his preferred trip, whilst the latter was 7th in the Cambridgeshire from a bad draw.
Finally, given the season his trainer has had it is hard to understand why FARLOW is the outsider of the field and those looking to land a monster blow in the last could do worse than having a few quid on Richard Fahey’s charge.
GM Hopkins and Professor look the main dangers.
Bet365 are paying 5 places for each-way bets on this race.
|Empire Storm (ew)||3.45 Ascot||20/1||Bet365|
|Musaddas (ew)||3.45 Ascot||8/1||Bet365|
|Farlow (ew)||3.45 Ascot||40/1||Bet365|