Champions Day QE II Quandary?
Race 4 which take place at 3.15pm sees the biggest prize money available in the UK and indeed on Europe.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sees currently 15 runners going to post. Of those I can I can only really see 4 potentially winning.
Ribchester currently heads up the market. Richard Fahey’s colt comes her in fine form having won 3 of his last 4 races. His only defeat I think can be be put down to finding a lack of space on the final furlong at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes. Even then he was only defeated by a neck!
Churchill came into Royal Ascot with 7 consecutive victories behind him. Since then he has flattered to deceive I feel. 3 consecutive defeats (2 at odds on) make him an expensive horse to follow.
Toby Balding’s gelding Beat The Bank come here with impressive form figures of 5 wins from 6 appearances. Tellingly the only defeat was at Ascot and this is a huge step up in class in.
Andre Fabre sends over from France Al Wukair. The colts only run in the UK saw him finish 3rd at Newmarket at the 2000 Guineas in May and I think again this may prove too much for him.
Champions Stakes Cracker For Godsen?
The Champions Stakes is the richest 10 furlong race in Europe and takes place at 3.50pm.
John Gosden currently has a great chance of snatching the first prize of just over £735,000. Cracksman for me bar the 2 Derbies has been the best 3yo horse this year. Since those 2 disappointing runs he has won the Great Voltigeur and the Niel Group 2 at Chantilly in very impressive fashion.
Richard Hannon brings Barney Roy but I am not sure that if Cracksman if is in anywhere near top form that Barney Roy will get close to him.
Brametot ran a creditable 5th in the Arc De Triomphe but again there is little form to compare beyond that as all runs have been in France all be it at the top level.
Champions Day Climax
The final race of the day is the Balmoral Handicap which takes place at 4.30pm. This is probably the most open and competitive race of the day.
For me the selection would be The Grape Escape. Richard Hannon’s colt ran well last time out and although won the race on a stewards enquiry I felt ran well.
It is well weighted and Sean Levey is riding well and currently priced at 8/1 is at least worth looking at as an each way punt.