We started with Mama Cass, went on to the Eurythmics and now it’s Roy Orbison‘s turn to highlight the chances of Dream Of Dreams in the 1.55 at Ascot today, which sees the finale of the rather odd Flat season.
All six races are covered by ITV and they include 4 Group 1s, a Group 2 and a 20 runner handicap to bring down the curtain.
There is a field of 16 for the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes headed by our favourite horse Dream Of Dreams, currently trading at 3-1.
Sir Michael‘s 6-y-o actually finished last in this race last year, but that was ‘avec noisettes’ rather than ‘sans noisettes’ and DOD has been a transformed beastie this year, sauntering away with its last two races in style. We see no reason to jump ship after being our pick for both those runs and suggest a win bet, as usual.
The meeting kicks off at 1.20, with the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup in which Stradivarius heads the market at 6-5, having contested L’Arc only 13 days ago. Ratings wise, Strad should win but the price is no fun, so we are going to suggest a tiny tickle on Max Vega at 40-1.
This will be the first time Max has tried two miles, but he wasn’t stopping when 4th at Longchamp over 1m 7f a fortnight ago in bottomless ground and this 3-y-o could run into a place.
It’s the turn of the laydies at 2.30 with the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes over a mile and a half.
This is a 5-1 the field race and one of those at that price is our selection Wonderful Tonight, a big candidate for the musical headline and a big candidate for the race itself.
David Menusier‘s 3-y-o comes here fresh from landing a Group 1 at Longchamp and she also pouched a Group 3 at Deauville in August, both on similar ground to today’s. This really does look some of the best form on offer and we suggest an each way bash at the aforementioned 5-1.
The Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes at 3.05 sees the return to action of the unbeaten Palace Pier, priced up at an unattractive 4-6. We are not of a mind to take this one on, so move swiftly to the Qipco Champion Stakes at 3.40.
Magical is a strong favourite for this at 15-8 but we think the way to go is to back Mishriff each way. John Gosden‘s 3-y-o has already won the Prix Du Jockey Club and a Deauville Group 2, has no ground concerns and has been aimed at this race since August. At 9-2, we’ll have a hefty-ish punt.
Also in this race we recommend an each way bet on French raider Skalleti, winner of 12 of its 15 starts and not turning up just for the sake of it, having beaten L’Arc winner in August. 8-1 are the odds of reward.
This just leaves the simple matter of the Balmoral Handicap at 4.15 over the straight mile. We think that high numbers will have the edge today and put up King Ottokar (22) and Orbaan (20) as our two against the field.
At 8-1 and 12-1 respectively, we will hopefully get a run for the hard-earned.
Farewell the Flat, bring on the real stuff.
Dream Of Dreams 1.55 Ascot 4pts win @ 3-1
Max Vega 1.20 Ascot 0.5pts e/w @ 40-1 (4 places Hills/Betfair)
Wonderful Tonight 2.30 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places Paddy, Betfair, Skybet)
Mishriff 3.40 Ascot 2.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places Skybet)
Skalleti 3.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places Skybet)
King Ottokar 4.15 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 8-1 (6 places Skybet)
Orbaan 4.15 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (6 places Skybet)
* ‘In Dreams’ by Roy Orbison (1963)