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Champions Day: The lowdown on all four Ascot Group 1 races

| 12.10.2016

Four of the last five Group 1 races of the Flat campaign will take place within two hours of each other during Ascot’s Champions Day, leaving punters truly spoiled for choice in Berkshire.

We ran the rule over each race and came up with four tasty tips that would pay out at over 400/1 in a winning accumulator, although sticking them in a Yankee might be more prudent.

14.00 – Sprint Stakes – Librisa Breeze @ 10/1

Henry Candy’s Limato is hotly fancied here at 2/1 after grabbing a Group 1 at Chantilly on Arc day last time out, but the field for this 6f dash is full of form horses.

A chance is taken on Dean Ivory’s Librisa Breeze, a four-year-old clearly fond of the course having won here twice – and claiming second place in the 28-runner Royal Hunt Cup – since mid-June.

He’s coming back in trip a furlong from his perceived optimum, but Librisa Breeze looks value at double digits nonetheless.

14.35 – Fillies & Mares Stakes – Zhukova @ 3/1

Favourites haven’t managed to land this race for the past three years, with 5/1, 12/1 and 16/1 triumphs pushing up the average winning SP markedly.

However, the last short-priced fancy to win this was Dermot Weld-trained runner Sapphire at 5/2 in 2012.

From the same stable, Zhukova is also four-years-old and goes into the race in similar form to Sapphire four years ago, with four wins racked up on the bounce, the past two at Group level.

15.10 – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – Minding @ 11/4

Both Minding and Galileo Gold – winners of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May – are set to line up here, yet neither currently claim favouritism ahead of Richard Fahey’s 2/1 jolly Ribchester, who broke his Group 1 duck last time out at Deauville.

Minding is rated within two pounds of the latter pair, yet will lug round 8-12 to the boys’ 9-1 on a straight track that should suit a filly that has won seven of her 11 races and placed in the other four.

15.45 – Champion Stakes – Almanzor @ 6/4

Having finally snapped a run of five runner-up spots on the spin by winning the Arc at the start of the month, Ballydoyle filly Found could be put back in her usual place this weekend.

The four-year-old is 7/2 second favourite here behind Jean-Claude Rouget’s Almanzor, who will be going for a five-timer after beating Found by just under a length last time out at Leopardstown.

He has had almost a month’s extra rest and should feel right at home over 1m2f, while O’Brien’s girl drops back in trip after her Chantilly success.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.