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2013 British Champions Day tips - Expert advice for Ascot's showpiece event

Frankel is the focus of attention after winning the 2011 running of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. (Getty)
The third instalment of British Champions Day is scheduled for Saturday October 19 when a whole host of equine stars will do battle on the hallowed Ascot turf.

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The prestigious meeting has been blessed for the last couple of seasons with some true equine greats  competing and none more so than Frankel who, after destroying his rivals in the 2011 renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, turned up 12 months later for a repeat show in the Champion Stakes, which was to be his swansong.



Watch a re-run of Frankel's stunning Champion Stakes win.

With that great horse now enjoying a life at stud, all eyes will be on France's Cirrus Des Aigles, who won the inaugural running of the Champion Stakes in 2011 and chased home Frankel at a respectable distance last year A dip in form earlier this season had some calling for the now seven-year-old to be retired, but he's answered his critics in style by recapturing winning form and looked back to his very best when scoring on Arc weekend. 

Bookmakers are unanimous in making him favourite and his price has shortened in recent days due to the strong possibility he will get the soft ground he needs to show his best; he's a worthy favourite at the 5/4 on offer with bet365. 

The same from then go 4/1 on Farhh and the Godolphin-trained runner, who has not been seen on the racetrack since winning the Lockinge Stakes back in May, has been working well at home ahead of this assignment. He looks by far the biggest danger to the French horse, although William Haggas' Mukhadram should not be underestimated.

Latest Qipco Champions Stakes odds (bet365):  5/4 Cirrus Des Aigles, 4/1 Farhh, Declaration Of War, 13/2 Mukhadram, 10/1 bar. Each-way 1/4 odds, 1.2.3.


Cirrus Des Aigles (centre, stripped cap) lands the inaugural running of the Champion Stakes at Ascot. (Getty)

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes was supposed to be a rematch between Dawn Approach and Toronado, with the current score between the pair standing at 2-1 after their latest encounter in the Sussex Stakes, but the last-named is far from a certain runner and his place may be taken by stablemate Olympic Glory. 

Dawn Approach, on the other hand, is all but confirmed and indeed the race could be his swansong, with a lucrative career at stud becking. Victory here would therefore be a fitting finale, although he won't have things all his own way and South Africa's Soft Falling Rain looks sure to take a hand in the finish.

Latest Queen Elizabeth II Stakes odds (bet365): 2/1 Dawn Approach, 4/1 Soft Falling Rain, 9/2 Olympic Glory, Toronado, 5/1 Farhh, Maxios, 9/1 bar. Each-way 1/4 odds, 1.2.3.

Dawn Approach (blue) and Toronado could square up again in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. (Getty)

Irish raider Maarek has been all the rage for the British Champions Sprint Stakes in recent days and that's easy to understand as this soft ground lover will have his conditions. BetVictor go a best price 3/1. Jack Dexter is another who loves to get his toe in and looks a big threat, with Slade Power and Viztoria also respected.

The British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes looks hard to call with several likely winners in the line-up. That said, they will all have to go some to beat Oaks winner Talent, who lived up to her name when landing the Epsom Classic and who then put a poor run behind her to finish an excellent second in the St Leger. William Hill go a best price 4/1.

The Queen's Estimate is favourite for the other Group race on the card, the British Champions Long Distance Cup, with most firms quoting her at 5/2, including at Stan James. If she runs to the same form that saw her land the Gold Cup at the Royal meeting here, she will prove hard to beat, although the likes of Ahzeemah and Harris Tweed won't go down without a fight.

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2013 British Champions Day tips - Expert advice for Ascot's showpiece event

The third instalment of British Champions Day is scheduled for Saturday October 19 when a whole host of equine stars will do battle on the hallowed Ascot turf.

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