Saturday racing tips: Best bets from Ascot Champions Day
Our tipster reveals his top picks for each race, and also gives us a win double and five Lucky 31 selections.
Champions Day is upon us and to mark the finale to the flat season, I’ve got tips for every race at Ascot.
On a day where Aidan O’Brien is looking to make history and pass Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group 1 wins, we could be in for something special.
Remember, you’ll get your money back as a Free Bet up to £20 if your horse finishes second on all races at Ascot...
1.25 – Long Distance Cup (Ascot)
Order Of St George is as short a favourite as he was 12 months ago but, like last year, I think he’s going to get beat.
So the one I’m going for is STRADIVARIUS .
John Gosden’s three-year-old is a course-and-distance winner following his victory in the Queen’s Vase in June.
He also got a big win in the Goodwood Cup where he beat Big Orange by 1¾ lengths.
A solid third in the St Ledger on good-to-soft ground shows he can handle the conditions and will stay the trip.
2:00 Champion Sprint (Ascot)
The big one’s up next with The Tin Man bidding to become the first horse to win this race back-to-back.
I’ve been impressed with Harry Angel – particularly in the Sprint Cup – but at I’m going to take him on given he Godolphin star hasn’t won here in three attempts.
I'm putting my faith in CARAVAGGIO to repeat his Commonwealth Cup triumph where he beat Clive Cox’s star by ¾ lengths.
He did flop in the July Cup and at Deauville in August, but has won on both his runs at Ascot and I’m hoping that run will continue on Saturday.
2:40 Champion Fillies & Mares (Ascot)
I correctly tipped Journey to win this race last year but am deserting her this time in favour of French mare BATEEL .
She finished last in this race 12 months ago but has been exceptional this season, winning three from a possible four.
The most impressive of those was at Chantilly in the Vermeille Group 1 Stakes where she beat Journey by over two lengths.
It’s going to be a big ask to do it at Ascot but I think the ground will suit her perfectly.
3.15 – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Ascot)
I tipped RIBCHESTER in this race last year when he finished second, and I’m backing him to go one better on Saturday.
He set a course record here in the Queen Anne Stakes, but did suffer a shock defeat in Sussex Stakes - mainly due to horrendous conditions - so I'm confident he'll bounce back here.
If his price is too short then, like Alan Alger, I also like the look of THUNDER SNOW as an each-way bet.
He's another for Godolphin, who finished a decent third in the St. James’s Palace Stakes in June and followed that up with a Group 1 win at Chantilly.
3.50 – Champion Stakes (Ascot)
Next up is the feature race and I think John Gosden is on for another winner with CRACKSMAN .
The three-year-old has improved massively since his third-place in the Derby.
He only missed out by a neck in the Irish Derby, but destroyed the field in the Betway Great Voliguer in August.
I’m a big fan of Barney Roy and think he'll be the biggest challenger.
He looks better suited to 1m 2f whereas CRACKSMAN seems best raced over 1m 4f, but he has won over the distance so I’m confident on his chances here.
4.30 – Balmoral Handicap (Ascot)
We finish with two each-way shots for the Balmoral handicap and they’re both horses from Richard Hannon’s yard.
The first one I’m going for is GEORGE WILLIAM , who I tipped when he finished a decent second in the Victoria Cup.
He was disappointing here in the Royal Hunt Cup but his last two runs at Newbury and Salisbury have shown he is getting back to his best.
Hollie Doyle also brings her 3lb claim on board, so I think he has a decent chance.
The second I like is OH THIS IS US , who I’ve tipped multiple times.
The four-year-old has had a respectable season with big performances in the Betway Lincoln, Spring Trophy and the Dribuild Handicap.
He has struggled to capture his best form over the last few months but with course experience from the Queen Anne Stakes - and with Ryan Moore on board for the first time - I think he holds value.