It’s Champions Day! And here are the Unibet movers and shakers on a cracking afternoon of top-class action from Ascot.
1:35 Champions Sprint
William Haggas’s improving mare was an impressive winner of the G1 Prix de la Foret last time and relishes soft ground which is key today. The step back down in trip won’t be a problem (she’s won over six furlongs at Yarmouth) and the fact she receives weight from her male counterparts is an added bonus, therefore it’s no surprise the money is down today
2:10 Long Distance Cup
As mentioned on this page last week, Aidan O’Brien’s colt has been very strong in the lead up to this race and arrives here fresher than most having run just three times this season. Up in trip, he’s a winner on soft and last year’s St Leger hero is a major threat to Stradivarius and should strip much fitter for his reappearance run in the Irish Leger last month.
2:45 Fillies’ & Mares’
Winless since scoring in the May Hill at Doncaster in September 2018, the daughter of Zoffany has posted some great efforts in defeat including going down by a short neck in the Prix de L’Opera last time. A mare who has shown a liking for soft ground, Donnacha O’Brien’s mount is certain to be in the firing line and will surely give Star Catcher something to think about.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s runner was an impressive winner on his first run in over a year at Newmarket last time and the Godolphin runner is expected to strip even fitter this afternoon, plus his trainer has a great record in this race. By Dubawi, this entire is proven at the top level and has every chance of going very close this afternoon.
4:00 Champions Stakes
Having her 9th race of the season, Magical is a model of consistency and is arguably the next best filly after Enable. 5th in the Arc last time, the drop back to 10f is a massive plus and there’s no doubt she has the best form on offer in what doesn’t look a vintage Champion Stakes. As long as she’s over her latest exertions, this tough mare should be very hard to peg back.
4:40 Balmoral Handicap
Second in the Royal Hunt Cup on soft ground, David Barron’s charge is off the same handicap mark as her Royal meeting placing and the fact she’s won over course and distance is testament to her chance today. Partnered by Unibet ambassador Jamie Spencer, this tough mare will likely play her cards very late under a typical Spencer ride!
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