QIPCO British Champions Day
Rail: True | Stalls: Inside round, middle straight | Track Conditions: Soft, rain forecast | Expected advantage: Wait for TurfTrax reading
The English flat racing season has almost reached its conclusion with British Champions Day already upon us. It features four outstanding G1 races, the G2 Long Distance Cup and the rich Balmoral Handicap.
The racing has moved to the inner course so cover on the round races will be important, and conditions should be near heavy.
RACE 1 | SELECTIONS
5. SWEET WILLIAM
BACK: #7 Trueshan (WIN) for 4 units
BACK: Exacta 3,7, 7,3 for 2.5u
Looks to be a match race between the two big guns TRUESHAN and KYPRIOS. I’m leaning to the former at a better price as the fitness edge is there and he’s coming off a win in the G1 Cadran whilst KYPRIOS faltered and couldn’t account for Eldar Eldarov in a four-horse farce after a long injury layoff. Trueshan is also the three-time defending champ of this race.
RACE 2 | SELECTIONS
7. MILL STREAM
BACK: #2 Kinross (WIN) for 6 units
KINROSS won the Foret on the way to winning this race last year. Only bad luck stopped him winning this year’s renewal and he looks in just as good shape. Conditions suit, he loves the wet and the stiff finish here. I expect him to win well with the other mudlarks filling out the placings.
RACE 3 | SELECTIONS
9. JACKIE OH
2. FREE WIND
7. TIME LOCK
BACK: #9 Jackie Oh (WIN) for 2.5 units
Coolmore has finally worked out JACKIE OH is a proper 2000m type on soft ground and she should get all the favours here with a solid tempo to chase. Doesn’t mind going right handed, and didn’t enjoy the straight track here in the Sandringham. Form in the wet reads 1212.
BACK: #2 Free Wind (WIN) for 2.5 units
FREE WIND was narrowly pipped in the Yorkshire Oaks in a headbobbing photo and didn’t find much in the Arc. Back to winnable fillies and mares’ grade where most of her collateral form has this field covered she can win again. Her wheels spun at Goodwood after travelling stylishly at 1.1 in the run before being eased down. There won’t be such a brutal tearaway leader this time.
RACE 4 | SELECTIONS
4. BIG ROCK
BACK: #11 Tahirya (WIN) for 2.5 units
There’s been a lot of fuss made about TAHIYRA not wanting soft ground when she’s looked her most explosive in the wet. She’ll be suited by a straight course and duke it out with Paddington late on if she accepts here. Dermot Weld is traditionally paranoid about ground and often scratches his runners last-minute.
PADDINGTON is the 2nd best 2yo after Ace Impact and has shown it this year with an all-conquering campaign bar the Juddmonte. Ryan Moore was embarrassed by Dettori that day and there might be a speed battle on to wrestle control away from the boom colt with BIG ROCK engaged here. I couldn’t have the French raider on a straight course though but he’ll put some pace into this.
NASHWA at a mile is better than 2000m and managed to get past Paddington late in the Juddmonte, though Ryan Moore had quit by that point and didn’t ride out to the line.
RACE 5 | SELECTIONS
7. HORIZON DORE
1. BAY BRIDGE
9. ROYAL RHYME
Been a fan of HORIZON DORE for some time and he looks primed to announce his credentials as a G1 star. Soft ground shouldn’t be an issue and the manner of his win last start was explosive. Connections won this with Sealiway a couple years back.
MOSTAHDAF if running is surely too big a price at $7. He upheld the Equinox form in devastating fashion this prep in the Juddmonte and the Prince Of Wales’s stakes. He may not enjoy ground this soft but if he turns up he’s worth backing.
BAY BRIDGE won this race last year knocking off BAAEED in a major boilover. He’s an untrustworthy campaigner and never settles properly so tactics will be interesting.
ROYAL RHYME is the total X-factor here having won all three starts in the wet in varying styles: leading, chasing a tearaway leader or swooping late. Could be anything.
BACK: 2u Mostahdaf
BACK 3u Horizon Dore
BACK 3u Horizon Dore
RACE 6 | SELECTIONS
BACK: #2 Raadobarg (WIN & PLACE) for 0.5 units win and 1 unit place
Happy to align with the four best wet trackers in the race and hope one of them gets up in the big field, the same way The Shunter did last week. A lot of this field won’t want it too wet either.
Baradar is the top pick here though winning two slashers in the wet at his last two runs with Champion Jockey Buick booked.
BACK: #4 Baradar (WIN & PLACE) for 1 unit win and 1 unit place
BACK: #12 Rhoscolyn (WIN & PLACE) for 0.5 units win and 1 unit place
BACK: #19 Vetiver (WIN & PLACE) for 0.5 units wjn and 0.5 units place