Champions Day Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting October 19

Catcher may be Star turn on Champions Day

Horse Racing Betting

Champions Day at Ascot has total prize money of more than £4.2 million in six races. Four of them are of Group 1 status, one is a Group 2 and the card ends with an ultra-competitive handicap in which the weights are headed by last month’s easy Cambridgeshire winner.

Though the Flat season on Turf in the UK doesn’t officially end until next month, this is the day when the gongs are handed out to the champion jockey (Oisin Murphy) and the champion trainer (John Gosden). This still irks with some jockeys and trainers who think that effectively shortening the season is unjust but this year’s winners would still have been crowned had the stats applied from March and run through to November.

So who is the star performer on show?

Champion stayer STRADIVARIUS would certainly hold claim to top billing. The five-year-old contests the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup bidding for an 11th straight victory. His last defeat came in this race two years ago but he won last year’s renewal. Only twice in that 10-race winning run has John Gosden’s chestnut started at odds against and he is again a short-priced favourite ( a best 4/7). He should win, even though though this comes at the end of a long season and racing is being staged this year on the inside NH course due to ground conditions. Kew Gardens, a former St Leger winner, is a general 5/1 while the enigmatic front-runner Withhold could be overpriced at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.

British Champions Long Distance Cup Current Best Odds

Stradivarius 4/7, Kew Gardens 5/1, Royal Line 8/1, Withhold 12/1, Mekong 25/1, South Pacific and Capri 40/1, Bin Battuta and Max Dynamite 50/1, Cleonte 66/1

Racing begins with the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.

The last three winners –  The Tin Man, Librisa Breeze and SANDS OF MALI– are all in action again. The forecast heavy ground is a major concern for several of the fancied runners including Advertise, who has won the Commonwealth Cup and the Prix de Maurice Gheest since reverting to sprint distances. He is an uneasy market leader at 5/1 with Betfred but is up against a host of top-class sprinters, some of which are still progressing. Make A Challenge is one but only a best 7/1 stepping up several grades. Cape Byron is another and available at 10/1 while Hello Youmzain (a best 11/2) won the Sprint Cup at Haydock. One Master (13/2 with Betway) won the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp but is undoubtedly better over further.

Richard Fahey may have had this race in mind again for Sands Of Mali since he failed to fire in the Commonwealth Cup. He is very effective when the mud is flying and interest is expected at the general 14/1.

British Champions Sprint Stakes Current Best Odds

Advertise 5/1, Hello Youmzain 11/2, One Master 13/2, Make A Challenge 7/1, Cape Byron and The Tin Man 10/1, Dream Of Dreams and Sands Of Mali 14/1, Librisa Breeze and Brando 20/1, So Perfect 25/1, Donjuan Triumphant and Speak In Colours 28/1, Mabs Cross 33/1, Forever In Dreams 40/1, Keystroke 66/1

The Qipco Champion Stakes is the most valuable race on the card and its honours list reads like a Who’s Who of middle-distance greats. First run in 1877, it is a race only surpassed in value by the Epsom Derby in the UK. Contested over 1m2f, a nine-strong field will set out this year. Unusually, the fillies and mares will outnumber the colts this time.

Champions Stakes Recent Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Owner
2000 Kalanisi 4 Johnny Murtagh Sir Michael Stoute HH Aga Khan IV
2001 Nayef 3 Richard Hills Marcus Tregoning Hamdan Al Maktoum
2002 Storming Home 4 Michael Hills Barry Hills Maktoum Al Maktoum
2003 Rakti 4 Philip Robinson Michael Jarvis Gary Tanaka
2004 Haafhd 3 Richard Hills Barry Hills Hamdan Al Maktoum
2005 David Junior 3 Jamie Spencer Brian Meehan Roldvale Ltd
2006 Pride 6 Christophe Lemaire Alain de Royer-Dupré NP Bloodstock Ltd
2007 Literato 3 Christophe Lemaire Jean-Claude Rouget Hervé Morin
2008 New Approach 3 Kevin Manning Jim Bolger Princess Haya of Jordan
2009 Twice Over 4 Tom Queally Henry Cecil Khalid Abdullah
2010 Twice Over 5 Tom Queally Henry Cecil Khalid Abdullah
2011 Cirrus des Aigles 5 Christophe Soumillon Corine Barande-Barbe Jean-Claude Dupouy
2012 Frankel 4 Tom Queally Sir Henry Cecil Khalid Abdullah
2013 Farhh 5 Silvestre de Sousa Saeed bin Suroor Godolphin Racing
2014 Noble Mission 5 James Doyle Jane Cecil Khalid Abdullah
2015 Fascinating Rock 4 Pat Smullen Dermot Weld Newtown Anner Stud Farm
2016 Almanzor 3 Christophe Soumillon Jean-Claude Rouget Ecurie Antonio Caro
2017 Cracksman 3 Frankie Dettori John Gosden Anthony Oppenheimer
2018 Cracksman 4 Frankie Dettori John Gosden Anthony Oppenheimer

MAGICAL and Coronet finished first and second in the Fillies And Mares on Champions Day 12 months ago. Both have won twice at the highest level this year and come into this race in good form again. But Aidan O’Brien’s filly looks the one to beat on her fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, though is priced accordingly at a best 7/4. Frankie’s mount is a general 4/1 while mudlark Addeybb has attracted significant ante-post support and is now only 10/3 with Betfred, despite having come up well short previously when venturing into Group 1 company. Regal Reality and Japanese raider Deirdre looks the pick of the remainder.

Champion Stakes Current Best Odds

Magical 7/4, Addeybb 10/3, Coronet 4/1, Deirdre 10/1, Mehdaayih 16/1, I Can Fly, Regal Reality and Fox Tal 20/1, Pondus 25/1

This year’s Fillies And Mares can go to STAR CATCHER (a best 7/4). Frankie Dettori’s mount has suffered defeat just once this season and that was over 1m2f. She has since rattled up a hat-trick, the last two at Group 1 level. She also won the Ribblesdale at Ascot in June when the going was soft so ground conditions won’t be a problem and she can deny the four fillies aiming to give Aidan O’Brien a third successive victory in the contest.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes can go to French raider THE REVENANT at a general 5/2. He is having a first run in a Group 1 company but was very impressive in landing the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp. There aren’t many guaranteed to enjoy conditions but Dermot Weld’s Imaging is one and is a huge 66/1. Lord Glitters rarely runs a bad race at Ascot and will also handle the going so the 15/2 with Unibet is sure to attract each-way punters.

Just to round off the action, bookmakers will be hoping to head home with satchels full after the Balmoral Handicap.

Cosy Cambridgeshire winner Lord North is the general 7/2 favourite but the boot is on the other hoof here as he gives weight to all of his rivals. Stablemate Kick On is the mount of new champion jockey Oisin Murphy and won a Group 3 at Salisbury last time. He is a general 8/1 but there is better value at bigger odds. Kynren finally got his head back in front over 7f at Ascot two weeks ago and David Barron’s tough gelding can run well under his penalty at 8/1 with Bet365 but another penalised runner, COOLAGH FOREST, looks on a par and is twice this odds.

Richard Fahey’s three-year-old has been thriving at York recently and his ability to stay further should be an asset in a race that is always run at an end-to-end gallop.

(All odds correct at 5.30pm October 17)