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Nathaniel and not So You Think the horse to beat in Champion Stakes

| 11.10.2011

Three-year-olds have generally had the better of older horses in the biggest races this season and this suggests that Nathaniel is the one to beat in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Nathaniel himself has already beaten the likes of Workforce to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Frankel toppled Canford Cliffs in the Sussex Stakes.

Three-year-olds also have a good record in the Champion Stakes, winning half of the renewals in the last ten years.

Nathaniel is 6/1 in the Ascot odds to win the Champion Stakes and is 2-2 at the course having triumphed at the venue in both of his racecourse appearances since June.

The one big question mark labelled at Nathaniel is whether he truly has the speed over 1m2f to contend with the some of the other big names involved, with all of his recent racing done over 1m4f.

But trainer John Gosden is not worried by the drop back in trip and the farcical slow early pace that was set in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes virtually meant that the race became a 1m2f contest.

So You Think is the favourite to win the Champion Stakes at 9/4 and will be tough to beat over what is his preferred trip.

However, whether he is capable of running two big races in such a short space of time remains to be seen, having run with credit in the Arc.

Of the remainder, Sir Henry Cecil’s duo Midday and Twice Over both warrant respect.

Twice Over has won the Champion Stakes for the past two years, but the change of course from Newmarket to Ascot is a big negative because of the short straight.

Meanwhile, Midday is still waiting for a first victory over males, with all of her three previous attempts ending in runner-up finishes.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.