Who should you back in the British Champions Sprint Stakes this October? Should you even take a gamble on the ante-post British Champion Sprint betting markets?
While there is still plenty to come before British Champions Day - the UK’s Flat horse racing finale on October 20 - the odds could well be in your favour if you do bet now. Here’s our ante-post betting tips:
Established in 1946, the British Champions Sprint was originally called the Diadem Stakes, after Diadem, winner of Royal Ascot's main sprint race, the King's Stand Stakes, in 1919 and 1920. After the introduction of the European Pattern in 1971, the Diadem Stakes held Group 3 status. It was promoted to Group 2 level in 1996.
The race was given its present name and switched back to October in 2011. It became part of the newly created British Champions Day, and its purse was increased to £250,000. It now serves as the sprint-category final of the British Champions Series. The European Pattern Committee upgraded it to Group 1 status from 2015.
When looking at the ante-post British Champions Sprint betting, it needs to be acknowledged that its proximity to the long-established Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp means it will not necessarily be the primary aim for the top sprinters.
It would therefore be unwise to back Battaash or Mabs Cross, who would be much more likely to run in the Abbaye, while other fancied contenders Harry Angel (7/1) and City Light (8/1) could go either way, and would be doubtful runners over a stiff six at Ascot in the event of soft ground, which must always be deemed likely in any British autumn.
The horses who have continually drawn the eye in the key races have been ante-post favourite The Tin Man and Brando, with last year’s winner Librisa Breeze seemingly coming to a peak after a poor summer.
The first-named of that trio is the one who looks most solid, but his win last time means he’s well found in the betting, priced at no bigger than 9/2 to win the British Champions Sprint with Ladbrokes - yet there isn’t a great deal between the three on balance.
Brando, 10/1 to win with Black Type, disappointed in this race a year ago, but had been out of sorts in the run-up and is best forgiven that effort, while he was placed in this in 2016 and looks as good as ever. Librisa Breeze is an Ascot specialist, and while his form in Britain in 2018 is underwhelming, he could hardly have caught the eye more at Deauville and is also a generous 10/1 to win on October 20 with 888 Sport.