Ascot Champions Day tips: Robin Goodfellow makes his selection for all six races on Saturday featuring the £1.3m Champion Stakes
- Frankie Dettori bows out of British racing with five rides on Champions Day
- Is a famous five on the cards for Dettori on his final day on a British racecourse?
- Sandrine bids to reverse York form with favourite Kinross in Champions Sprint
The closing race of Champions Day at Ascot is the fiercely competitive Balmoral Handicap where Dancing Magic (Ascot, 4.25, nap) makes his handicap debut with Oisin Murphy on board.
The Roger Teal trained colt finished fourth in the Group One Futurity Trophy on heavy ground last season and has contested group and listed races on his five appearances this season.
The three-year-old was only beaten four-and-a-quarter lengths in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and looks a fascinating contender off a mark of 98 following a wind operation.
Earlier on the card, Sandrine (Ascot, 1.50, nb) bids to reverse York form with the favourite Kinross in the Champions Sprint.
Revitalised on her last two starts since the application of a visor, Sandrine got back to winning ways at Doncaster last time on soft ground over 7f in the Group Two Park Stakes. This drop back to 6f won’t inconvenience her as she won the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on heavy ground over this trip and she should hold strong each-way claims.
Sandrine (right) bids to reverse York form with the favourite Kinross in the Champions Sprint
1.15 Sweet William
1.50 Sandrine (nb)
3.45 Via Sistina
4.25 Dancing Magic (nap)
1.50 Kinross (nap)
2.25 Jackie Oh
3.05 Paddington (nb)
3.45 Bay Bridge
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Who else but FRANKIE DETTORI, who has ridden 229 winners at Ascot, 81 of them at the royal meeting.
He looks to have legitimate chances in four of the six Champions day races courtesy of KINROSS (Ascot, 1.50), FREE WIND (Ascot, 2.25), CHALDEAN (Newmarket, 3.05) and KING OF STEEL (Ascot, 3.45).
TRAINER TO FOLLOW
RALPH BECKETT has enjoyed his best season by a mile with 128 wins and is fifth in the trainer title race. He has maintained a consistent strike rate with his 14 wins in the last 14 days easily more than any other trainer.
It will be fitting if he wins with KINROSS (Ascot, 1.50). He also has good chances with BLUESTOCKING (Ascot, 2.25), SONNY LISTON (Ascot, 4.25) and MERCURY DAY (Catterick, 1.45).
BIG DAY FOR…
French jockey AURELIEN LEMAITRE, who had a nightmare blocked run on his only previous ride in Britain this season when Blue Rose Cen was only fourth after starting odds-on favourite in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
He has a chance of redemption with French Derby runner-up BIG ROCK (Ascot, 3.05) in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
CHALDEAN (Ascot, 3.05) relates to a member of an ancient Semitic-speaking people in Chaldea, a small country of the marshy land of the far south-eastern corner of Mesopotamia. They briefly ruled Babylon.
WATCH OUT FOR
MY PROSPERO (Ascot, 3.45). Shouldn’t be overlooked in the Champion Stakes despite others having sexier profiles. He is proven on soft ground and was third in the race last year when beaten half a length by Bay Bridge.
Trainer William Haggas also delivers a double whammy in fitting his colt with both blinkers and a tongue tie for the first time. That has potential for a big galvanising effect.
HORSES FOR COURSES
TRUESHAN (Ascot, 1.15) has won three of his four races at this track with all his victories coming in today’s race for the last three seasons. ROHAAN (Ascot, 1.50) has won five of his eight races over course and distance and was fourth in the race last year.
Chaldean (ridden here by Frankie Dettori) relates to a member of an ancient Mesopotamian people
David O’Meara has won the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot three times in the last 10 years including last season with 80-1 shot Shelir. He is mob-handed with four runners: BENNETOT, BOPEDRO, BLUE FOR YOU and RHOSCOLYN (Ascot, 4.25).
Ben Curtis has ridden seven winners from 27 rides for Ralph Beckett to show a £1 level stake profit of +£10.45. He rides MERCURY DAY (Catterick, 1.45) for the trainer.
BEST RACE FOR FAVOURITES
Four favourites have won the 1.15 and also the 3.45 at Ascot in the last 10 years.
TOP PRIZEMONEY EARNERS
ASCOT: 3.45 MOSTAHDAF — £2,330,181
CATTERICK: 3.40 COPPER KNIGHT — £383,403
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