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British Champions Day Tips

2018 British Champions Day Preview

The cherry on top of the British flat racing cake is almost upon us, with Ascot set to welcome a capacity crowd through their gates to enjoy British Champions Day. Four fantastic Group Ones will be staged on the six-strong racecard, along with the Group Two Long Distance Cup and the thrilling Balmoral Handicap.

Several of Saturday’s combatants could be making their final competitive appearances at Ascot, including last year’s Champion Stakes winner Cracksman, who looks set to take on stablemate Roaring Lion in what looks like the most mouth-watering showdown on the day.

Laurens has been supplemented into the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, where she will take on a field of talented colts over a mile. Karl Burke has decided to swerve a clash with St Leger runner-up Lah Ti Dar, who will certainly be the one to beat in the Champion Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes.

Sprint Cup winner, The Tin Man will lock horns with Harry Angel again in the Champion Sprint. Stradivarius has been pencilled in to try and cap a wonderful season in the Long Distance Cup, but he could be one of several non-runners if the heavens continue to open between now and Saturday afternoon.

British Champions Day Betting Tips

Long Distance Cup Tips

It could be worth chancing on Irish St Leger winner FLAG OF HONOUR to capitalise on any lingering possibility that Stradivarius underperforms in the conditions, and the ground is less likely to present an issue to Aidan O’Brien’s youngster who produced an impressive front-running performance to win the Irish Classic last month, beating Irish Derby hero Latrobe and others.

Ascot can often play into the hands of front-runners, and the trail-blazing Classic winner could make a bold sight out in front where he could make plenty of use of the 8lbs weight-for-age he receives from John Gosden’s charge. 

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Champions Sprint Stakes Tips

Harry Angel is hard to dismiss if at his best, but he could only finish sixth in the Haydock Sprint Cupt behind The Tin Man and BRANDO and the latter could gain some revenge on his Haydock conquerer here.

Runner-up on two of his last three starts, in the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup, Brando raced on the wrong part of the track at Deauville in August and there is a suspicion that racing again on perhaps the worst of the ground at Haydock might have compromised his chances again.

He had kept on well despite the ground to only go down by a half-length, and arriving here fresh, having not run since, he can give a good account, with any drying ground in his favour.

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Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Tips

Everything LAH TI DAR has done thus far oozes class and potential. If Frankie had had a little more confidence in her ability to get the St Leger trip, she could be travelling to Ascot as an unbeaten Classic winner, as she matched Kew Gardens stride-for-stride coming down the home straight in that Classic.

A victory here would be the perfect way to end an impressive debut season and establish Lah Ti Dar as leading player on the middle-distance circuit in 2019 season.

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Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Tips

 I think everything may have fallen into place for LAURENS to become the third filly in a row to win the QEII.

The French Oaks winner failed to see out the trip when finishing sixth in the Yorkshire Oaks, but Karl Burke’s stable star bounced back in fitting fashion, beating Alpha Centauri to the Matron Stakes before claiming a narrow victory over a resurgent Happily in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

This will be Laurens first visit to Ascot, but she has two wins on the straight Rowley Mile to her name. She loves a bit of juice in the ground and boasts an outstanding record over this trip.

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Champion Stakes Tips

With Capri and Crystal Ocean offering little appeal and nothing standing out at an each-way price, one logical conclusion remains – CRACKSMAN ending his career with a second victory in the Champion Stakes this weekend.

The team decided the ground at Longchamp wasn’t soft enough to allow Cracksman to face Enable in the Arc and Dettori revealed the three-time Group One winner has been working in cheek-pieces over recent weeks - equipment that should help Cracksman keep his mind on the task at hand.

Conditions on Saturday should allow Cracksman to be at his best – a level the favourite may not even have to reach to end his life as a racehorse in fittingly emphatic fashion.

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Balmoral Handicap Tips

Ability to handle the soft conditions will be vital, and SAFE VOYAGE is a winner on soft ground having struck two starts ago at Haydock in the mud..

The progressive Fast Company gelding followed up that success when beating Danielsflyer at Galway in August under this rider, looking to score with something in hand, and the return to one mile will pose no issue despite all his winning form coming over seven.

His win at Haydock two starts ago came on the back of a ten-month absence, but he tanked through the testing conditions to post a six lengths’ defeat of Get Knotted and others which included Bunbury Cup and Gigaset International winner Burnt Sugar; while he beat another strong field latest and he remains with scope from just 4lbs higher in the weights so another big run wouldn’t come as a surprise with his ability to handle these conditions proven.

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British Champions Day Latest News/

British Champions Day

“The richest day in British racing”

QIPCO British Champions Day is the pinnacle of Britain’s flat racing season. Marking the official end of the campaign, Ascot racecourse hosts a championship finale as five Group races are contested across each respective division with over £4.2 million in prize-money on offer, making it Britain’s richest ever race-day.

The most illustrious of the races on British Champions Day are the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over one-mile and the Champions Stakes raced over Ascot’s 1m2f setting. The QEII was host to one of the most incredible horse racing performances in 2011 when the great Sir Henry Cecil-trained Frankel annihilated the field to win by four-lengths. One year later, the superb colt become the first horse to win at two British Champion Day’s when he beat Cirrus Des Aigles in the Champions Stakes in his 14th and final career outing, solidifying his position as one of the greatest to ever grace the sport. 

The presence of Frankel in 2011 and 2012 cemented British Champions Day as Britain’s premier race day and has since developed into a must-see event both on course and off course. A capacity crowd of 70,000 have flocked to Ascot racecourse since the series began in 2011 to witness a fantastic afternoon of world-class flat racing action.

The finale of the British flat racing season

Champions Day was created in 2011 as the end of the British Champions Series – an idea developed in the hope that by combining many of the UK's top flat races into a meaningful series, horse racing would start to appeal to a higher number of casual UK racing fans. It is now regarded as the culmination of the entire UK flat racing season.

Champions Day Schedule

British Champions Long Distance Cup

A Group 2 race over two miles for three-year-olds and up with a prize purse of £300,000. It has been running since 1873, previously at Newmarket but it moved to Ascot in 2011.

British Champions Sprint Stakes

A Group 1 race over six furlongs for three-year-olds and over with a total pot of £600,000. This event has always been staged at Ascot, and was created in 1946.

British Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes

A Group 1 race for fillies and mares aged three years and over run over one mile and four furlongs with a purse of £550,000. The longest race of the day, it has also always been held at Ascot (aside from 2000 when it was moved to Newmarket), and has been run since 1946.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

A Group 1 race for three-year-olds and up run over a mile with a prize purse of £1.1 million. Previously run in September, it was moved to Champions Day in 2011.

Champion Stakes

The feature race of the day with a prize fund of £1.3 million, this event is run over one mile and two furlongs and is for three-year-olds and up. Like the Long Distance Cup this race was originally run at Newmarket but was moved to Ascot in 2011.

Balmoral Stakes

A Group 1 Handicap race, the Balmoral Stakes is the final event of Champions Day, and has a prize purse of £250,000. It is run over a mile and is for three-year-olds and over.

Famous Champions Day Winners

The legendary Frankel ended his racing career at the 2012 Champions Day meeting by winning the Champion Stakes in 2012, one year after winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The colt ran fourteen times during his racing career, winning all fourteen races. 

Further Flight managed a staggering five successive wins of the Long Distance Cup, winning in 1991 as a five-year-old and then every year until 1995 as a nine-year-old. The horse enjoyed a lengthy eight year career, winning twenty-four of his seventy races.

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