HORSE RACING

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: British Champions Day 2022

We’re nearing the end of the British flat season, and Ascot’s showpiece Champions Day has produced another set of hotly contested races – with one star name that towers above all in the shape of Baaeed, a 1/5 favourite with Star Sports for the Champion Stakes. Can the season’s wonder horse go out in style and make it a magnificent 11?

There’s also the matter of three other Group 1 races – featuring the likes of Creative Force, Inspiral, Emily Upjohn and more – and for good measure anyone who fancies a puzzle can take a crack at the 18 runner Balmoral Handicap to close the card. Without further ado, here’s a race-by-race guide to the action!

Going: Good to soft, soft in places (GoingStick ratings Straight: 6.8, Round: 6.5, on Thursday at 8am.)

Weather: Dry for the past 24 hours to 8am today – upto 2.5mm max between now and end of racing

British Champions Day 2022
Ascot, Berkshire
First Race: 1.25pm
Last Race: 4.40pm
Live on ITV 1 HD and ITV Hub from 1.00pm
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 12.30pm

1.25 – Long Distance Cup (2m): Last year’s winner Trueshan has had a fine season, although it was slightly marred by his defeat to Coltrane at Doncaster last time. He pulled notably hard on that occasion – when there was a notably slow gallop – and if he gets a stronger gallop then his chances would be much enhanced, but he looks just about short enough at 7/4. St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov was extremely strong at the finish there and should relish the step up to 2 miles here, whilst Waterville’s heroics to land the Irish Cesarewitch marked him down as a group horse.

All three have their chances but it’s hard not to think that Coltrane, who has been progressing hand over fist this season, isn’t overpriced in relation to Trueshan at about 10/1. His run behind Quickthorn at York can be easily forgiven (especially as one imagines Quickthorn will face much more pressure on the front end this time around) and bar that his extremely progressive profile augurs well for a big run.

Quickthorn’s brilliant display at York entitles him to huge respect, although the race appeared to fall apart behind him and surely Tom Marquand will face some early pressure here, just two weeks after a hard race in the Cadran.

A price of 22/1 about Trawlerman is interesting. John Gosden’s charge showed a fine attitude to take the Ebor (following a valuable win at Glorious Goodwood) and he looked as if a couple of extra furlongs wouldn’t inconvenience him too much on either occasions. Transformed under a first-time hood, he may not be too far away.

Wordsworth had been a disappointment this season and Straum, whilst a game winner at Ascot, hasn’t shown the same form in graded contests on the flat.

2.00 – Champions Sprint Stakes (6f): Fiercely competitive – a reflection of the division in the UK, apart from Highfield Princess’s domination – and Art Power makes appeal to go three places better than last year. Fourth behind Creative Force on that occasion, he had the worst of the draw on that occasion, being left exposed on the nearside without a target to aim at, and he did well to be fourth in the circumstances. From 8 of 18, that won’t be an issue on this occasion and his preparations this season make for very encouraging reading.

He did too much too soon at York over 7f (Kinross won) on his return after 10 months off, stumbled at the start in the Sprint Cup, and then warmed up for this with an easy Group 3 win at the Curragh last time; if putting his best foot forward, he’ll take some beating.

Las year’s winner Ceative Force has run big races in the Platinum Jubilee and July Cup this year and should take some stopping, whilst Rohaan should get the strong pace he craves and arrives in form. Kinross, an impressive winner of the Foret last year who will relish any rain if it falls, is a major threat if getting a good position from 17, and Diamond Jubilee winner Naval Power can take a hand if bouncing back to his best.

Those looking for outsiders could do worse than Brad The Brief (unbeaten for Hugo Palmer in two starts, including defat of Glen Shiel) and King’s Lynn (fast finishing over 5 furlongs under penalty here last time).

2.40 – Fillies & Mares Stakes (1m4f): Wide open with Emily Upjohn currently leading the market. Don’t be afraid of a big price pick either – plenty do well at this meeting. Emily Upjohn retains massive potential, but her form and the ground are question marks and others make more appeal. Mimikyu has only one blip on her record this year and was extremely impressive when beating last year’s winner Eshaada in great style at Doncaster in the Park Hill Stakes. After only six runs – just three of those being at more than 10 furlongs, and only two with a hood – there’s surely more to come.

Her big threat could be Sea La Rosa, if William Haggas’s charge is over a bruising battle to take the Prix de Royallieu just a fortnight ago (Emily Dickinson fourth).

The other horse to catch the eye is Prix Vermille winner, Sweet Lady who benefited from a fine ride at Longchamp without winning out of turn, having won the Corrida at Saint-Cloud in May before finishing fourth in the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud won by Alpinista. She had the very consistent Lilac Road just behind there (also deserves respect for William Haggas) and the form shapes up well through a

3.20 – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1m): At her best Inspiral is sure to take all the beating but she’s a very short price despite her Coronation and Marois wins. Modern Games finished runner up to Baaeed in the Sussex before romping home at Woodbine and should be set for a big run, whilst The Revenant – winner of this two years ago and fourth in a stronger renewal last year – is really interesting here. He couldn’t reel in Marois third Erevann last time but that horse got first run on him and we know Ascot suits him.

Jadoomi has also been most progressive and will appreciate any rain that comes, so don’t expect him to be too far away either in a race where the market leaders make far more appal than the outsiders.

4.00 – Champion Stakes (1m2f): How far for Baaeed? It seems churlish to write off the biggest race of the day with such a question, but William Haggas’s beast has been pitch perfect all season and it’s impossible to see him being stopped if in the same form here.

Adayar’s best form – his Derby and King George wins from last year, and his fine effort in the Arc – would give him a fighting chance of shaking up the favourite but the issues that have kept him off the track until September are a worry. He didn’t prove much when taking advantage of an easy opportunity at Doncaster and the jury’s out; if he shows his a-game, it’s all to play for.

Bay Bridge was a big disappointment in the Coral Eclipse, but beforehand he’d proven himself to be one of the most exciting horses in the country with his progression and back on ground with cut in it – and coming here off a long break – Sir Michael Stoute’s charge remains of interest an could be worth backing without the favourite.

My Prospero showed a great attitude to land the Prix Eugene Adam at Saint Cloud when last seen in July (close third in the St James’s Palace beforehand) and it’s interesting that William Haggas brings him here after a 91-day break. Dubai Honour was a close second in this race last year and has run creditably since without showing improvement.

Royal Champion was deeply impressive at Ayr last time in the Doonside Cup but this is a different ballgame and with all due respect Stone Age, Mac Swiney and Helvic Dream haven’t shown enough to be winning this on their efforts this season.

4.40 – Balmoral (1m): A whole host make appeal here but the one that jumped off the page was Sweet Believer. Placed in listed company last season over 10 furlongs, she made her reappearance just over a month ago at Sandown when (admittedly with the run of the race) putting up a good showing against the 110 rated Bayside Boy in Listed company (107 rated Escobar in third). She’s on the wing today (drawn 20) but if Adam Farragher an find her a good position, then few will be better handicapped and she’s worth taking a chance on at the prices.

Migration – presumably readied for this since his Spring Cup second – is one of many big players whilst this move back to handicap company is an interesting step for Bashkirova.

Most interesting of the outsiders was Stormy Antarctic, who appeals as the type of horse to thrive for a big field and strong pace over a mile.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


RECOMMENDED BETS

BACK Art Power 1pt win in 2.00 Ascot at 6/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Mimikyu 1pt win in 2.40 Ascot at 13/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Sweet Believer 1pt win in 4.40 Ascot at 10/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (OCT 2022): LOSS -7.86 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)


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