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15th October 2021

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 17th October 2020

As we move into the final few weekends of the turf flat season we've another 'crackerjack' of a card this Saturday to look forward to as it's Champions Day at Ascot.

Yes, the Berkshire track is the sole meeting being covered by the ITV cameras this weekend, but with four Group 1's a Group 2 and a competitive handicap its a card that always has a Royal Ascot feel as the best-of-the best from all ranges of trips lock horns.

The Long Distance Cup (1.20) over 2m - a race that will revolve around the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius, who won this race in 2018 and was a close runner-up in 2019.

The Group One's get going with the Champions Sprint (1.55) - a contest the James Fanshawe-trained The Tin Man landed in 2016. The Fillies & Mares Stakes (2.30) and QEII Stakes (3.05) are next up before we end the Group One races with the main event - the Champion Stakes (3.40) - a race that trainer Aidan O'Brien has surprisingly only one once - and that came last year in 2019 with his classy Magicial, who could line-up again in 2020. The card ends with the ultra-competitive Balmoral Handicap (4.15) - a prize trainer David O'Meara has won twice in the last three runnings.

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here on TQ with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races - we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get cracking!


Ascot Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)


1.20 - Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) Cl1 2m ITV

15/18 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
15/18 – Won at Listed or better class previously
15/18 – Winning distance – 1 1/2 lengths or less
13/18 – Returned 9/2 or shorter
13/18 – Favourites placed
13/18 – Won at least 5 times previously
12/18 – Aged 5 or older
12/18 – Won over at least 2 miles on the flat previously
11/18 – Raced at least 5 times that season
8/18 – Raced at Longchamp (3), Ascot (2) or Doncaster (3) last time out
8/18 – Favourites that won (1 joint)
8/18 – Won their latest race
6/18 – Irish-trained winners (6 of the last 10)
4/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
3/18 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (2 of the last 5)
2/18 – Trained by Dermot Weld
2/18 – Trained by John Gosden (2 of the last 5)
Stradivarius won the race in 2018 and was second in 2019
Since 2011: 6 of the last 9 winners came from stalls 2-4 (inc)
Since 2011: Horses from stall 7 have been placed in 4 of the last 8
The average winning odds in the last 10 runnings is 6/1

TQ VERDICT: A top renewal of this staying race on Champions Day, but the ratings suggest the 2018 winner – STRADIVARIUS – is the one the others have to aim at. He’s the top rated in the field (125) and has 8lbs in hand on his nearest rivals – Broome and Sovereign. Yes, Strady has a bit of a funny season and not mopped-up as many races as he normally does, but his last two outings were over 1m4f and that that’s a bit on the short side for him. The last of those also came in the Arc, but now back over his more favoured 2m trip he should take the beating. Those against him will look to the fact he’s only had 13 days since that Arc run, but he’s a horse that’s taken his racing well in the past and his regular jockey – Frankie Dettori – is also back in the saddle after abandoning him for Enable last time. Last year’s Irish Derby winner – Sovereign – hasn’t won a race since and was 7 ½ lengths behind Search For A Song last time – so he’s not for me, while Broome is trying this trip for the first time. Fujaira Prince was second in that Search For A Song race (beaten 2 lengths) and should go well too at a track he loves, but really the main danger to Strady is the already mentioned Search For A Song, from the Dermot Weld yard. He gets a handy 3lbs off the Gosden horse and could have more to come upped in trip, while the Weld camp are no strangers to this race having won it twice since 2012! Of the rest. Spanish Mission and Morando certainly have the form to hit the frame.

1.55 - Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 6f ITV

17/18 – Won over 6f previously
17/18 – Won at least 3 times previously
15/18 – Returned 12/1 or shorter
16/18 –  Raced within the last 6 weeks
16/18 – Raced at least 4 times that season
15/18 – Won at Listed or better class previously
13/18 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
14/18 – Raced at Ascot previously (3 won)
13/18 – Finished in the top 4 in their latest race
13/18 – Won a Group race previously
11/18 – Favourites placed
11/18 – Raced at Haydock (6), Goodwood (2) or Newbury (3) last time out
4/18 – Won their latest race
4/18 – Favourites that won
2/18 – Ridden by Paul Hanagan (2 of the last 5)
The Tin Man (13/2) won the race in 2016
Since 2011: 4 of the last 9 winners have come from stalls 12 (2) or 14 (2)
Since 2011: 5 of the last 9 winners came from double-figure stalls
Since 2011: Horses from stalls 12 placed 5 of the last 9 runnings
Since 2011: Horses from stalls 14 placed 4 of the last 9 runnings

The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 10/1

Note: The 2005 renewal was run at Newmarket

TQ VERDICT: The Tin Man won this in 2016, but certainly looks on a slow downward curve now, despite running better last time at York when second to Dakota Gold, who franked the form when winning again in midweek. Oxted was a top winner of the July Cup at HQ back in July and is the top-rated in the field, but the worry for me would be the ground – he seems better on a quicker surface and the two times he’s race with ‘soft’ in the going description he’s been well beaten. In his defence, he’s a better horse now and it’s interesting he’s had a wind op since that last win too. Course winners – Cape Byron, Speak In Colours, Art Power and One Master are all big players too, while the Hollie Doyle-ridden Glen Shiel ran a cracker last time out in the Sprint Cup (2nd) to warrant respect too. However, the horse that won that G1 Haydock race was DREAM OF DREAMS and he’s looked a different horse this season since being gelded last year. He was a close second in the Diamond Jubilee here at the Royal Meeting, but followed that with G2 and G1 wins. He handles the soft ground well and looks to hold all the aces again here with Sir Michael Soute and champion jockey – Oisin Murphy – teaming up. Of those at bigger prices, the Fellowes-trained ONASSIS (e/w) might just surprise at big odds. She loves the ground and the track and was a nice winner over 7f at Goodwood last week. The rumours are this will be her last race and was supplemented to run here (£25k) as a good finish would increase her broodmare value going forward.

2.30 - Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 1m4f ITV

12/12 – Raced 3 or more times that season
11/12 – Won at Listed or better class previously
10/12 – Returned 6/1 or shorter
10/12 – Won at least 3 times previously
10/12 – Raced within the last 9 weeks
9/12 – Finished 1st or 2nd in their last race
9/12 – Won over 1m4f previously
9/12 – Rated 110 or higher
8/12 – Returned between 4/1 and 6/1
8/12 – Favourites placed
8/12 – Aged 3 years-old
6/12 – Won their last race
4/12 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
3/12 – Favourites that won
2/12 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
2/12 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (2 of last 3 runnings)
2/12 – Trained by John Gosden (2 of the last 4 runnings)
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 6/1
Magical (5/1) won the race in 2018
3 of the last 10 winners came from stall 2

Note: The 2009 & 2010 renewals were run at Newmarket

TQ VERDICT: This has been a good race for the Gosden and O’Brien yards in recent years – they’ve won 4 of the last 7 runnings between them. O’Brien runs Laburnum and Passion, while Gosden has Mehaayih and Frankly Darling. All four are respected, but they all have a bit to prove too having not quite fulfilled their potential they showed earlier in their careers. Antonia De Vega won well last time out and can’t be ruled out, but this is harder and it won’t be easy giving weight away. The same thing regarding the weight applies to Dame Malliot, so the two I’m going to side with are WONDERFUL TONIGHT and EVEN SO. The former was a G1 winner in France last time out over 1m6f so we know the trip and conditions here will be fine. This race might be a tad too soon (14 days), but she gets a handy 6lbs off the older horses and William Buick is the icing on the cake. The Ger Lyons runner – Even So – is the other pick and I think she can improve for her last run at Longchamp as it came off a small break. The softer ground here will be more to her liking too – won well two runs ago in the Irish Oaks – and if back to that level would be a big player here as she’s also another that gets 6lbs off the older runners in the field.

3.05 - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 1m ITV

18/18 – Raced at least 3 times that season
16/18 – Aged 3 or 5 years-old
16/18 – Finished in the top three in their last race
16/18 – Raced at Goodwood, Longchamp or Leopardstown last time out
16/18 – Returned 7/1 or shorter
15/18 – Had won a Group 1 or 2 race previously
14/18 – Favourites placed
14/18 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
10/18 – Raced at Ascot previously (6 won)
10/18 – Won their latest race
9/18 – Won at least 7 times previously
8/18 – Favourites that won
7/18 – Raced at Goodwood last time out
4/18 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
3/18 – Trained by John Gosden
3/18 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
2/18 – Trained by Freddie Head
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 4/1
9 of the last 11 winners came from stalls 2-8 (inc)
Since 2011: Horses from stall 2 and 7 have won 4 of the last 9 runnings

Note: The 2005 renewal was run at Newmarket

TQ VERDICT: The Revenant ran a blinder to be second in this race last year and comes over from France again. He looks sure to be in the mix and will love conditions. However, he’s got to give 3lbs away to the classy PALACE PIER, who is also rated 7lbs better than the French horse! This Mark Johnston runner is another ridden by Frankie and is yet to taste defeat from 5 runs. We last saw him winning in France, while before that he lowered the colours of the useful Pinatubo in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. We know the track is fine and he’s handled soft ground well in the past too. The Johnston yard have kept him fresh for this too with 2 months off, so he looks ready to rumble again. Of the rest, Circus Maximus is a gutsy performer that loves the track so we can expect a bold show from him, while other proven performers at the Ascot track that have the form to certainly be placed are Nazeef, Dark Vision, Lord Glitters and Century Dream, but to win they might all have to hope Palace Pier runs about 6-10lbs below his rating to have a chance!

3.40 - Qipco Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) Cl1 1m2f ITV

18/18 – Won at least 4 times previously
17/18 – Won between 4 and 8 times previously
17/18 – Aged 5 or younger
16/18 – Finished in the top 3 in their latest race
16/18 – Won over 1m2f previously
16/18 – Won a Group 1 or 2 race previously
14/18 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
13/18 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
13/18 – Raced 5 or more times that season
10/18 – Won their last race
8/18 – Raced at either Longchamp (5) or Goodwood (3) last time out
6/18 – Favourites unplaced
6/18 – Returned a double-figure price
6/18 – Favourites
4/18 – Won by a French-based trainer
3/18 – Ridden by Tom Queally
2/18 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori (2 of last 3)
2/18 – Trained by John Gosden (2 of last 3)
Magical (Evs fav) won the race in 2019
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has just 1 win in the race (Magical, 2019)
Since 2011: Horses from stall 5 have won 2 of the last 7 runnings

TQ VERDICT: Lord North (123) and Addeybb (122) are both CD winners that head here as the top two rated in the field, but it won’t be easy having to give weight away to the likes of Mishriff and MAGICAL, who are both rated 121. We can expect the Derby winner – Serpentine to run well too, but he’s still to prove that Epsom success wasn’t a fluke. Japan is a top-class horse too, but just seems to fall short at the highest level these days and is now 5 races without a win. He also tasted defeat at the hands of MAGICAL, last time out and this tough and consistent Aidan O’Brien 5 year-old also landed this race 12 months ago. She gets the mares’ allowance too and heads here having lowered the colours of Ghaiyyath, who many are billing as the best middle-distance performer around at the moment. Her form at Ascot reads 1-2-1 and she acts on all ground – another bold bid is expected. Her main rival  might come from the Frankie-ridden Mishriff, who has done nothing wrong in winning his last three. Trip and ground are fine, but the small negative might be he’s never races here at Ascot. Of those at bigger prices, the William Muir runner – PYLEDRIVER (e/w)might be worth a small interest too. He won the King Edward VII Stakes well here earlier in the season and also added the Great Voltigeur Stakes to his CV later on. He was a fair third in the St Leger last time too, but the drop back to 1m4f looks in his favour.

4.15 - Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco) Cl2 1m ITV

Just 6 previous runnings
6/6 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
5/6 - Winners drawn 10 or lower
5/6 – Carried between 9-1 and 9-6 in weight
5/6 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
4/6 -  Winners ran at Newmarket last time out
4/6 - Previous winners were aged 5 years-old
2/6 – Trained by David O’Meara
1/6 - Winning favourite
Escobar (16/1) won the race in 2019
The average winning SP in the last 6 runnings is 11/1
Trainers Roger Varian, David O’Meara (2), Roger Charlton, Saeed Bin Suroor and Marcus Tregoning have won the race in the past
Horses from stalls 12 or 13 have been placed in 3 of the last 6 runnings

TQ VERDICT: A tough handicap to end this top card, but with ALL of the last six winners aged 4 or 5, then this should hopefully rule out some of the 20 runners. The ones that fit the age trend are PRINCE EIJI, GRAIGNES, ORBAAN, BELL ROCK, SOLID STONE, NJORD, RAAKIB ALHAWA, KING OTTOKAR, BLUE MIST, TEMPUS, HORTZADAR, ALTERNATIVE FACT, BEAR FORCE ONE (res) and REVICH (res). The David O’Meara yard have also won two of the last 6 runnings so their Hortzardar and Orbaan will be trying to add to their tally, while the Roger Charlton stable have taken this race before and they look to have a string hand with Blue Mist and Tempus – both are also proven CD winners here. Raaeq was an impressive winner over 7f here last time and with only 5 career runs should have more to come and he travelled really well that day – looks a big player, but this will be tougher for this 3 year-old. Solid Stone, Keats, Ropey Guest and River Nymph are the other recent winners in the line-up. But the two I’ll take a chance on are ALTERNATIVE FACT (e/w) and KING OTTOKAR (e/w). The former seemed to be asked to do a lot in his last race at York, but finished well and on this stiffer track can hopefully not get as far back. Frankie has also been booked to ride and he also ran well here at the Royal Meeting, when third in the Silver Hunt Cup. A chance is also taken on the Charlie Fellowes runner – King Ottokar – who hasn’t really fulfilled his potential but showed a few better signs last time (5th) at Donny and is down another 2lbs too. He stays further than this 1m trip and acts on the soft ground, while James Doyle, who was third on him in the 2019 Hampton Court Stakes at the track is back in the plate.

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