Weekend Horse Racing Blog: British Champions Day at Ascot

Magical Day Of Racing At Ascot

Magical won the Champion Stakes last season and is the favourite for Saturday’s race which is the highlight of a magical day of racing at Ascot.

It’s QIPCO British Champions Day and the six races feature four at Group 1 level, a Group 2 contest and lucrative handicap race. Magical receives a three pounds mares and fillies allowance which could make all the difference between winning and not winning the race.

There has been a recent precedent for winning back-to-back Champion Stakes. Cracksman won the race in 2017 and 2018 and Twice Over did the same thing in 2009 and 2010.

Lord North is the highest rated entry and looks a decent each way bet. However, I fancy Mishriff (7/2 with bet365*) who is a progressive sort and has the potential and form to thwart the Magical double bid.

Stradivarius Could Play Second Fiddle

Stradivarius has been the best stayer trained in the UK and Ireland over the last three years but there could be a changing of the guard in the Long Distance Cup.

Search For A Song is a filly so gets three pounds from the colts. She won the Irish St Leger in the last two years but has something to find with Stradivarius on ratings.

Fujaira Prince was beaten in the Irish St Leger this year so is behind Search For A Song on form. However, Stradivarius is not improving at the age of six and looks vulnerable to a more unexposed runner.

Dawn Patrol is 16/1 with one bookmaker but as low as 8/1 in other lists. The three-year-old receives the weight-for-age allowance of eight pounds from older horses, including Stradivarius and Fujaira Prince.

The Group 3 win over two miles at the Curragh last month suggests Dawn Patrol (now top-priced 9/1 with Betway) can be competitive at Ascot on Saturday and could even cause a shock by beating Stradivarius and winning the Long Distance Cup.

Longchamp Winner Fancied For Sprint Stakes

Oxted won the July Cup at Newmarket this year and that race often identifies the champion sprinter in Europe.

The horse is joint-highest rated with Dream Of Dreams in the Sprint Stakes at Saturday’s big champion meeting. Dream Of Dreams was placed in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and won the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock Park last month so certainly has good credentials.

Glen Shiel has something to find with the winner on the form of that race.

A more viable alternative to Dream Of Dreams and Oxted is One Master (9/2 with BetVictor). The mare gets three pounds from the colts and geldings older than three which includes her two market rivals. One Master won a Group 1 race at Longchamp on Arc day and that form is good enough to win the Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot this Saturday.

And finally…

Betting offices in many regions of the UK are now closed due the third-tier Covid-19 restrictions. However, bookshops and card shops remain open.

These shops have narrow corridors between rows of books and cards. It is far more difficult to social distance and betting offices usually have plenty of empty floor space. These ever-changing and confusing rules seem to be targeting the wrong establishments.