The coverage on ITV starts with the Long Distance Cup, a Group 2 over 2m. Even with the ground softer than ideal I see no reason to oppose top stayer STRADIVARIUS.
The three-time Ascot Gold Cup hero was not sighted in the Arc last time, but this is his thing and I strongly expect Frankie Dettori to cruise round and win with ease. Lump on!
Now we have the Group 1 Champions Sprint over 6 furlongs. I love ONE MASTER and she could be the one here with Pierre-Charles Boudot taking the ride, someone who seems to get the best tune out of the mare.
William Haggas’s star is a 7-furlong specialist and was awesome in the Foret last time. However, she’s fully capable of getting in the mix over 6 furlongs and she’ll be hard to keep out the frame at the very least with the ground in her favour.
It’s the turn of the fillies and mares to strut their stuff here with another Group 1 now over 1m 4f. This is wide open. EVEN SO was poor in the Group 1 Vermeille at Longchamp last time and has plenty to find on form with the likes of Dame Malliot and Wonderful Tonight.
However, I have a feeling the Irish Oaks heroine is much better than that effort suggests and she is not a bad each-way wager here for Colin Keane and Ger Lyons. The ground is not an excuse.
Arguably the race of the day now, with the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes taking place over 1m. Dettori should get his second Group 1 of the day here with the hugely progressive PALACE PIER.
The unbeaten son of Kingman was brilliant in the Jacques le Marois last time when defeating Alpine Star and he loves the going. I love that he does his best work in his last two furlongs and it’s hard to envisage defeat for John Gosden.
For many this is the main event, the Group 1 Champion Stakes over 1m 2f. MAGICAL has not run in deep ground recently, but much of her best form is with juice and she might be too good for Mishriff, who has impressed in France of late.
Everyone knows that Magical is a top-class performer and super consistent. She’s the defending champion and with conditions in her favour, I see no reason why she won’t score for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
Champions Day ends with the Balmoral Handicap over 1m. Connections of TEMPUS were telling me they wanted more rain to fall in the hours leading up to the Cambridgeshire, so he probably did well to finish sixth as it didn’t rain as hard as they wanted. The slight drop in trip will be no problem for the Roger Charlton runner, who gives Jason Watson a big each-way chance.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
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