20 October 2018
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY
The main event of the day is of course the Champion Stakes and Cracksman will be a short price with ground conditions coming right for the Gosden inmate. Lots of views around the day and below are a selection of thoughts from some of the top trainers on what they think of their horses chances today.
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS LONG DISTANCE CUP
News from the Gosden yard is that likely favorite Stradivarius is in great condition and the Million Pound Horse (scooped the seven-figure Weatherbys Hamilton-backed bonus) with wins in the three major stayers cup races in the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup.
“He is in tremendous form and I’m very happy with him,” said Gosden.
“He has put good condition back on. He comes in great order and we are thrilled with him.
“I think his win in the Gold Cup was the most satisfying moment of my year.
“He’s a diminutive horse and the fact he gave everything, pulled a shoe off and rammed it into his foot in the last furlong and still won was a pretty remarkable achievement.
However, the likely soft ground may not be ideal and Frankie Dettori is quoted as saying “I am worried about the ground”
We’ll have to see what happens but it is likely the horses class will see him through.
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS FILLIES & MARES
It could be a red letter day fro trainer John Gosden as the filly Lah Ti Dar goes for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Quotes from trainer John Gosden earlier in the week seem to give an air of caution:
“She got the idea of what she was supposed to be doing in the last furlong at Doncaster,” said Gosden.
“She is still a very a big, immature filly. Frankie said he set her to sleep and he couldn’t wake her up again, but I love the way she finished.”
It would not be a Group 1 without mass representation from Ballydoyle and Aiden O’Brien runs six and last year’s winner Hydrangea looks the pick of his runners with Magical a nice back up after running a solid race last time in Paris for The Arc.
O’Brien is quoted as saying:
“Magical is in good form and we were very happy with her at Longchamp,” said O’Brien.
“She just had a bad draw in the Arc, but came out of it well and we’re looking forward to seeing her running again over a mile and a half.
“Hydrangea’s had a bit of a break and she seems to be in good form. It’s a while since she ran, but she seems to be in good form.
“She probably had a better preparation last year when she had a busier time than she did this year. She hasn’t run since the King George this year.”
QIPCO CHAMPION STAKES
It has been a tough season for Cracksman but he is the undoubted class act, and on soft ground he is a different horse and will be incredibly difficult to beat……..another for the Gosden bandwagon?
Owner Anthony Oppenheimer is quoted earlier this week……..”I would have liked to have seen him take on Roaring Lion on Saturday.
They have reached for blinkers on the horse today as he has raced a little lazily the last couple of times. He would be expected to win and if anywhere near last year, he could destroy this field.
THE BALMORAL HANDICAP
The concluding race on Qipco Champions Day is the Balmoral Handicap and this is where we go for our betting selections.
We have two selections:
HATHAL at 25/1 EW and WARRIF at 33/1 EW with Skybet who are paying 6 places on the race.