Champions Day 2020 Betting Tips from Henry Gibbs: 40/1 Outsider in the Sprint & 16/1 Long Distance Cup Prospect
The flat season finale takes place at Ascot this weekend and Henry has picked out his race by race betting tips including some big each-way selections.
Stradavarius will look to win the Long Distance Cup again and One Master will hope to beat Dream of Dreams in the Sprint. Elsewhere on the card, Magical goes for Champion Stakes glory and a wide open Fillies & Mare’s Stakes could prove to be the race of the day.
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1:20 Ascot – Long Distance Cup
On a fantastic day’s racing we open up with the Long Distance Cup for the stayers over 2m. Stradivarius heads the market at Evens but I can see him drifting on the day. He deserves his place at the top of the market but he’s been beaten in this race twice and he had a poor draw in stall 1. If he drifts to a back able price I wouldn’t put anyone off but I think it sets up the race for a nice e/w bet.
The one for me here is SPANISH MISSION 16/1 EW. Spanish Mission is a regular in the staying races throughout the year but he has shown significant improvement to my eye in his last two starts since joining Andrew Balding. He will have no problems staying this trip on this ground as he is proven over further. I think a few of the market principles ahead of him in the betting are either not good enough or won’t stay. Whether he’s good enough to beat Stradivarius I don’t know but conditions will suit and he comes into the race thriving where a lot of the others may well be ready for a break.
1:55 Ascot – Champion Sprint Stakes
The 1:55 is the complete opposite as it’s the feature race for the sprinters as it is the Champion Sprint Stakes, a Group 1 contest over 6f. Dream Of Dreams heads the market but I don’t like his draw and although he is arguably the best horse in the race it’s enough to make me look elsewhere at the prices. I like Starman as a horse too but the draw is again the concern for him.
The one for me is ONASSIS 40/1 EW. Onassis won really well last weekend at Goodwood under today’s jockey Hayley Turner and I’m hopeful she can ran another big one here today. It was over 7f that day but I don’t think the drop to 6f will be an issue for this filly. She will be staying on well over this trip and I can see her running into the places at the very least at a huge price. She is proven around Ascot winning her only start here and she is proven on this ground winning her only start on it.
2:30 Ascot – Fillies & Mares Stakes
Next up is the Group 1 Fillies and Mares Stakes over 1m4f. This is a wide open renewal and Wonderful Tonight heads the market after an impressive win last time out and I’m sure he’ll do for many.
However, I prefer the chances of MEHDAAYIH 11/1 EW here at a nice price. I find it interesting that she is the choice of Frankie Dettori here. She was fifth in the Champion Stakes last year on the same card which was a great effort. She now returns to the ground she loves and returns to her optimum trip of 1m4f for the first time since powering clear in France last year.
3:05 Ascot – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The 3:05 at Ascot comes next and it is a cracking renewal of the QEII here. The Revenant comes over from France here and will relish these conditions.
I like PALACE PIER 8/11 though and I think he is the new superstar of the flat racing world. He has improved with every run this term and has successful been brought along steadily by John Gosden. He was really good last time in France powering clear on similar ground to today and he will take the world of beating here. Banker of the day for me.
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3:40 Ascot – Champion Stakes
Next up is the big one, the Champion Stakes, a Group 1 contest over 1m2f. Defending champion Magical heads the market off the back of her victory in the Irish Champion Stakes and this has always been her target. She is bound to run her race as she is as consistent as any filly we’ve seen.
The one for me here though is MISHRIFF 3/1 for the duo of Frankie Dettori and John Gosden again. I think Mishriff would have went very close in the Arc but Gosden decided to save him for this contest today instead. He has won his last two starts in France very decisively name I don’t think he has finished improving yet. He will have no issues on this ground with his latest start coming on heavy ground when he powered clear. I expect a very good 45 mins for Gosden and Frankie.
4:15 Ascot – Balmoral Handicap
The 4:15 race is the finale and it is the only handicap on the card, the Balmoral Handicap over the 1m distance. It’s very competitive and I’m happy to take one from either side of the draw here.
From the low numbers I like NJORD 11/1 EW for the Jessica Harrington team who was very unlucky last team out in the Irish Cesarewich last time out as he was hampered when coming to make his challenge. I think this 1m at Ascot will suit and it’s an eye-catching jockey booking with Tom Marquand taken the ride.
From the high numbers I’ll take KING OTTAKAR 8/1 NAP here who I really like. I felt he was another who was unlucky last time out when finishing fifth behind Matthew Flinders. I think compensation could well await here with the booking of James Doyle a significant one. He gets his ideal ground conditions for this and Charlie Fellowes loves a handicap win here at Ascot. He’s a trainer in great form too.
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