Yes, folks, it’s ABBA Revival day at Ascot (aka British Champions’ Day) with the whole card being shown on ITV.
All talk, naturally, is about the (hopefully) triumphant swansong for Baaeed, who is due to strut his stuff in the Qipco Champion Stakes at 4.00.
William Haggas‘ 4-y-o is unbeaten in all his 10 races and is 2-9 to make it a perfect eleven before a career change involving taking care of some young ladies.
Clearly not a betting race, unlike the opening Qipco Long Distance Cup at 1.25, for which Trueshan is 15-8 favourite.
A winner of this race for the past two years, Alan King‘s 6-y-o has had a mixed season, picking up the Northumberland Plate off a handicap mark of 120 but being beaten by Coltrane in the Doncaster Cup.
The fragrant Hollie probably would not want to view the video of that race too often and the signs are that preparation for today has gone swimmingly.
The ground-dependent Trueshan will have its conditions today and we take it to achieve the three-peat. Have a win bet.
Second race on the card, at 2.00, is the Qipco Sprint Stakes which has a field of 18, headed in the market by last year’s winner Creative Force.
Charlie Appleby‘s charge has not looked quite the same horse this year and we prefer the chances of the much improved Kinross.
Fresh from pouching a French Group 1 just 13 days ago and dropping back to 6f, Ralph Beckett‘s thriving 5-y-o surely will give us something to shout for, so let’s hope Il Loco Italiano can do the biz at 9-2.
The Qipco Fillies & Mares Stakes at 2.40 is a race in which the 3-y-os historically do well and the one 3-y-o with the stand out piece of form is Emily Upjohn from the Gosden yard.
A desperately unlucky second in The Oaks was followed by a complete blow-out in the King George, when the girlie pulled the jockey’s arms out and eventually trailed in last.
All hopefully will be forgiven this afternoon with the addition of a hood and we hope for a flying dismount in the winners’ enclosure. (Yes, it’s him again.)
We also like the chances of Willie‘s horse Sea La Rosa which has been a model of consistency and is guaranteed to see out every yard. We suggest an each way bet on this one at 15-2.
In the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes at 3.20 it’s very hard to get away from the chances of Inspiral, another from the Gozzies and another mount for you-know-who.
Odds-on for the 1000 Guineas during the winter, Inspiral wasn’t ready for that but made a stunning reappearance over this CD, winning a Group 1 by 4+ lengths. She was then turned over at odds of 1-7 at Newmarket, with connections blaming themselves for running her too soon after Ascot.
She then beat the boys in a French Group 1 back in August and has been prepared for today ever since. Take the hint and back her at 5-4.
That just leaves the simple matter of the 20 runner Balmoral Handicap at 4.40, over the straight mile.
We throw two darts at this nightmare and recommend each way bets on Sweet Believer at 14-1 and Casanova at 33-1 – so there.
Trueshan 1.25 Ascot 3pts win @ 15-8
Kinross 2.00 Ascot 2pts e/w @ 4-1 (5 places)
Emily Upjohn 2.40 Ascot 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)
Sea La Rosa 2.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (4 places)
Inspiral 3.20 Ascot 4pts win @ 5-4
Sweet Believer 4.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (6 places)
Casanova 4.40 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 33-1 (6 places)