Champions Day Preview

Saturday 17th October 2020


A warm welcome to everyone to my Champions Day Preview of 2020. This is one of my favourite meetings of the year and can’t wait to get stuck into the last proper day of flat action. 

Looking back on last week’s action, it was a good day for last week’s preview with Great White Shark doing the business in the Cesarewitch, who was put up at 13/2, as well as Dakota Gold claiming Group 3 success at York.

Enjoy this week’s!

– Jordan


The first race of the day at Ascot takes place at 1.20 and that’s the Group 2 Long Distance Cup which takes place over two miles. It’s almost impossible for me to oppose STRADIVARIUS, he’s one of my all time favourites and I’ll be siding with him again here. I can however, understand the cases being made against him. He was beat in the race last year when arriving in a lot better form, and despite not having an overly hard time in the Arc, it’s still got to have taken it out of him the travelling alone. Despite that, if we go back to his Gold Cup effort here in June he dismantled the field in what was his most impressive performance to date, and I still think even if he isn’t at his best he’s got enough to get the job done here. One at a price I’ve had an each-way play on is BROOME for Aidan O’Brien at 12/1. He was a very smart juvenile and came close to winning a Group 1 in France when beaten only a neck in second, he followed that progression into last season when winning two Group 3’s before finishing fourth in the Derby. He’s only had the one outing this term, that was when fourth in the Coronation Cup when Stradivarius finished third. It’s interesting he’s pitched in here off the back of a lay-off, and with the even more interesting booking of Colin Keane on board I think if returning to form he could well outrun his price.

The obvious dangers in the field are Search For A Song for Dermot Weld, who’s won back to back Irish St Leger’s. As well as last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign for Aidan O’Brien and the progressive Fujaira Prince for Roger Varian.

STRADIVARIUS (11/10)

(Finishing Position: Unplaced)

BROOME (14/1)

(Finishing Position: Unplaced)

Next up is the 1.55 which is the first Group 1 of the afternoon in the Champion Sprint Stakes over six furlongs. The likes of Dream Of Dreams, One Master and Oxted all set a solid standard at the top of the market here, I’ve tried to take them on though with one at a decent price here and that’s ART POWER for Tim Easterby and Silvestre De Sousa. This is a horse that I rapidly became a big fan of around the time of the restart when he won three on the spin culminating with a Group 3 success in Ireland. The Nunthorpe didn’t suit him when he finished sixth behind Battaash, however, he bounced back to form the last day when fourth in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock. He bolted up here in a big field handicap at the Royal Meeting, and I still believe there is more to come from him.

ART POWER (12/1)

(Finishing Position: 4th)

It’s more Group 1 action next in the form of the Fillies & Mares Stakes at 2.30 which takes place over a mile and four furlongs. An extremely competitive race and the one I’ve side with is ANTONIA DE VEGA for Ralph Beckett and Harry Bentley. She’s still lightly raced at four years old and is very much unexposed, she arrives here in top form too off the back of two wins in Listed company and most recently a Group 3 at Newmarket. She’ll have no problem with the soft surface and I think there’s every chance that she can go well again. The dangers look to come in the form of Dame Malliot who’s the mount of Frankie Dettori and recent Group 1 winner Wonderful Tonight for David Menuisier and William Buick.

ANTONIA DE VEGA (5/1)

(Finishing Position: Unplaced)

Moving onto the 3:05 which is the Group 1 QEII Stakes which is ridden over a mile. This race for me revolves around one horse and that’s the mightily impressive PALACE PIER for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. He arrives here boasting a perfect record winning five from five and he’s looked very much out of the top drawer in his most recent efforts, winning the Group 1 Jacques le Marois in France and before that the St James’s Palace Stakes here at the Royal Meeting. He’s won on all types of ground, starting on Good to Firm and mostly recently winning on Heavy, if turning up in the same form we’ve seen him in all season it will take a mighty display to stop him. I’m a big fan of The Revenant, the French raider who’s the mount of Pierre-Charles Boudot and was second in the race last year. He looks to be the main danger. Circus Maximus should also give a good account.

PALACE PIER (4/6)

(Finishing Position: 3rd)

The concluding Group 1 on the card takes place at 3:40 and is of course the Champion Stakes which takes place over a mile and two furlongs. I’m going for back to back successes in the race for the Aidan O’Brien trained superstar mare that is MAGICAL who’s the mount of Ryan Moore. Winner of the race 12 months ago she returned to training this year winning a further three Group 1’s in the Pretty Polly Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup and most recently the Irish Champion Stakes. She’s proven over her illustrious career that the ground won’t be an issue and I’ll side with her to do the business once again for Ballydoyle. Her main danger looks to come in the form of the John Gosden trained Mishriff who’s Frankie Dettori’s ride. He’s been a revelation this season winning his last three including the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club.

MAGICAL (15/8)

(Finishing Position: 3rd)

The final race of the day is the Balmoral Handicap at 4:15 which is a big field event over a mile. A lot of money has come for the Brian Meehan trained Raaeq, who certainly looks like a progressive sort who could be a bit better than this level. I’ve had a put on one at a much bigger price though and that’s RIVER NYMPH for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby. Winner of his last two outings with the penultimate one coming at this course, he’s looked impressive in both of this victories and with the latest effort coming on soft ground at Newbury the ground should hold no issues. I think there could be more to come from him and at the prices he’ll do for me in what is an extremely tough race to look at from a betting angle.

RIVER NYMPH (11/1)

(Finishing Position: Unplaced)


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