Ground conditions can turn the form book upside down at this time of year and it would be no surprise to see a number of surprise results at this Saturday’s Champions Day meeting at Ascot with soft ground expected at the Berkshire track following a period of sustained rain recently. Twelve horses are set to go to post for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes over one mile and while there is little doubt that Dawn Approach deserves to be favourite on his overall form the son of New Approach is unproven on very soft going and represents poor value at 9-4 in the circumstances.
The same applies to the South African challenger Soft Falling Rain who, despite an impressive victory at Newmarket recently, goes into the unknown ground wise so the 5-1 available with Betfred is easily passed over on this occasion although Mike De Kock’s 4-year-old would rate a big player should he not be inconvenienced by the conditions. Olympic Glory and Maxios have proved that they are capable of handling soft ground but that is reflected in their current odds in the region of 9-2 while Gordon Lord Byron and Top Notch Tonto, although suited by cut in the ground, face difficults tasks, the first regarding the trip and the latter the massive step up in class.
One horse who will relish likely conditions, has solid Group 1 winning form, and is available at the attractive odds of 14-1 is the John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate who is taken to put a couple of below-par performances behind her by taking the contest worth over £600k to the winner. The last time the daughter of Elusive Quality faced similar conditions was in Deauville’s Prix Rothschild back in July when William Buick’s mount ran out a comfortable winner from two classy performers in Duntle and Kenhope. A reproduction of that form may be good enough to beat some better fancied rivals at the weekend and represents good each-way value at the 14s on offer with Bet365 who are going a quarter the odds 1.2.3.
Recommendation: Elusive Kate – 14/1 E/W Bet365