Qipco British Champions Day Tips: What To Bet On At Ascot This Saturday
The eyes of the Flat racing world fall upon Ascot on Saturday where the world’s best racehorse Baaeed, headlines a stellar cast on Qipco British Champions Day.
The 2022 edition of this prestigious event promises to be right up there with the very best and, of course, UK bookmakers have plenty of free bets available throughout the weekend.
Baaeed bids to bow out of his all too brief racing career with a perfect eleven wins from eleven starts when he lines up for the feature £1.3m Champion Stakes.
The presence of 2021 Derby winner Adayar ensures that the William Haggas-trained superstar will need to produce yet another top-class performance if he’s to maintain that unblemished record.
There are four Group 1 prizes up for grabs on the day, along with the Group 2 Long Distance Cup and the fiendishly difficult Balmoral Handicap, the most valuable one-mile handicap run anywhere in Europe, to conclude.
The meeting will also decide who is to be crowned Champion Flat Trainer, Champion Jockey and Champion Apprentice.
William Buick, runner-up to Oisin Murphy last year, has the jockey’s title sewn up this time while Benoit De La Sayette looks almost home in the apprentice race but the battle to be crowned champion trainer looks set to go to the wire.
Charlie Appleby holds a slender lead going into the meeting but the outcome of the Champion Stakes could prove pivotal and Baaeed’s final act on the track might well earn William Haggas a first trainer’s title.
It’s a top-class day of thoroughbred action and it's also the final Tote World Pool day of the 2022 Flat season, which means Ascot punters can bet into the biggest betting pool on the planet. It’s a huge opportunity for punters to win big for just small stakes.
We’ve picked out the best bets in each of the six races on Champions Day.
13:25 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)
Trueshan, winner of the last two renewals, can be forgiven his surprise defeat in the Yorkshire Cup given they went no gallop and he didn’t settle.
In the circumstances he probably did well to go as close as he did and, with conditions once again favourable, the reigning champ is an obvious starting point here.
However, St Leger winner ELDAR ELDAROV looks all about stamina and he will relish this stiffer stamina test so he gets the vote to continue his progress and provide David Egan with yet another big-race success.
The 9lb he gets from the older horses as a three-year-old is substantial enough to swing the vote firmly in his favour.
Aidan O’Brien’s progressive Irish Cesarewitch winner Waterville, the only other three-year-old in the field, is the potential fly in the ointment but it’s a huge jump from a handicap to a Group 1 race so this is asking a lot.
14:00 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)
Last year’s winner Creative Force looks a big runner once again having been freshened up since his July Cup fourth, but he’s short enough in what looks a competitive renewal.
Rohaan absolutely loves it at Ascot, winning four of his five starts, so he warrants major respect.
But providing there is some juice in the ground, this could set up nicely for KINROSS who is a 6/1 shot with betting apps, has the tactical speed to cope with the drop back to six furlongs, especially on a stiff track like this.
Kinross has never won a race over six furlongs but everything about this particular contest looks right for him and he comes into the race at the peak of his powers having sluiced up in the Prix de la Foret on Arc day at Longchamp.
14:40 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)
Eshaada and Albaflora, the first two home from last year, are back for more and obviously need respecting.
But three-year-old’s have dominated this race in recent years, winning seven of the last eight renewals, and the Classic age group are very well represented this time around.
It would be no surprise if Cazoo Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn bounced back after her King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes flop although that does raise questions about her effectiveness around Ascot.
Australian filly Very Elleegant is a fascinating contender having missed out on an Arc bid, but the vote goes to MIMIKYU who looks a very progressive filly for the Gosden team.
The daughter of Dubawi had excuses for her York Listed flop and she bounced back in stunning fashion at Doncaster, where she came from off the pace to forge clear of Eshaada in the closing stages.
John Gosden has won this race with three-year-old fillies twice since 2016, one of which was Mimikyu’s full sister Journey, so everything looks in place for this filly to open her Group 1 account.
15:20 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1)
Back at the scene of her most impressive victory, INSPIRAL looks almost impossible to oppose at a shade of odds-on with UK betting sites.
Her stunning performance in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes over this course and distance is up there as one of the finest by any horse this season and if the daughter of Frankel is in the same mood here, then she won’t be beat.
Modern Games, who bolted up in the Woodbine Mile last time, is a strong contender but he’s got his work cut out against Inspiral who, in receipt of the three-year-old and fillies’ allowance, looks banker-rated to make it seven wins from eight starts.
16:00 Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1)
This is all about BAAEED, the world’s best turf horse, who is racing for the last time before heading off for a career at stud.
He is a perfect 10 from 10, including six Group 1 prizes, and the son of Sea The Stars took his form to a new level when going beyond a mile for the first time in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York.
He’s already won twice at Ascot and connections will be absolutely desperate for him to remain unbeaten, so expect him to turn up at Ascot primed to minute.
If Baaeed performs to the same level he did in the Juddmonte, then he’ll bow out with an 11th win but he’ll probably need to be near his best if he’s to see off Adayar who is the best horse he has faced in his career.
Last year’s Derby and King George winner ran well below his best in this race last year but he had been on the go for a long time and he comes into this year’s renewal a much fresher horse.
Adayar is not to be underestimated and he looks a place banker but Baaeed will probably win again.
16:40 Balmoral Handicap
As tough a ‘getting out stakes’ as it gets. Neither Symbolize and Magical Morning, second and third in this race 12 months ago, come here in great shape this time but they have to be respected, nevertheless.
Orbaan has been in the form of his life this summer and although he’s up to a career-high mark, he’s been freshened up for a tilt at this and his trainer has won it twice since 2017.
However, a strongly-run mile on a stiff track might just bring out the best in the lightly-raced MONTASSIB who ran so well in defeat in a good race at Haydock last time and is as big as 12/1 with horse racing betting sites to go one better at Ascot on Saturday.
Only 1lb higher here, he’s got a bigger effort in him and victory might well seal the trainer’s title for William Haggas.
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