Paddy Power and Frank Hickey have put their cards on the table and picked out their best bets for Champions Day at Ascot.
Speaking on the latest episode of the twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the dynamic duo have gone their separate ways with Paddy focusing on the Champion Stakes while Frank’s top tip runs in the Balmoral Handicap.
I wouldn’t say she is an absolute certainty, but I would say that this is a penalty kick with no goalkeeper! She’s a different gear in the Autumn, and has won what is probably going to go down as the best race in the world this year – the Irish Champion Stakes – with Sottsass and Ghaiyyath behind. It was an unbelievably good race.
I think Skalleti has a squeak in this and Lord North has a squeak but Magical is going for a hat-trick at this meeting. She won this race last year, and won the Fillies & Mares the year before.
She’s made for this – made for this time of year and made for this meeting. She will hopefully lap them!
The favourite Raaeq was very impressive last time out at Ascot over seven furlongs and has won over a mile at Sandown already. He’s 5lbs well in here and he’s very much unexposed. He’s had five starts – two seconds and three wins, and even the second at the start of this year was only by a neck. He definitely could be a group horse.
But the one I like is King Ottokar for Charlie Fellowes – I liked him for a handicap that was called off here a few weeks ago and I like him even more here because a mile is going to suit him even better than seven furlongs.
He hasn’t really built on the promise he showed when third in the Hampton Court Stakes behind Sangarious last year. He ran a really good race that day over 10 furlongs on soft. He wasn’t beaten by that far in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury but has struggled a bit this year.
SANGARIUS WINS THE HAMPTON COURT STAKES 🔥
Make that 4 of the last 8 👀
Another @FrankieDettori masterclass runs away a comfortable winner on Sangarius – Fox Chairman an unlucky second after finding trouble in running!
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 20, 2019
He was disappointing on three runs but on the last day at Doncaster he dropped to handicap company over a mile and he just caught the eye off a mark of 102. He travelled really well and just got blocked at a crucial juncture in the race, losing all momentum. The race had gone for him but he finished fifth, beaten four and a quarter lengths. If he had got a clear run, I’m not saying he would have won but he would have got close enough. He’s 2lbs lower here and the softer ground is definitely in his favour.
He’s very well supported and I struggle to see him not hitting the frame.
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Ascot Champions Day best bet summary – Saturday, October 17
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