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Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1)

  • 15:45
  • Ascot
1m 1f 212y

Race Preview

Champion Stakes tips for Saturday’s Group 1 race. The feature race of the day, the prize was won last year by Almanzor and we believe another French raider has a very good chance of make it back to back wins for France. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

IN SUMMARY: Cracksman‘s stamina will help him hugely with conditions as they are at present and he rates as a big danger, but preference is for the Arc fifth BRAMETOT. He was prominent throughout and kept on dourly, with a drop back in trip likely to suit him here. He loves softer ground and with Jean-Claude Rouget in fine form, he can take the prize for France once again. Barney Roy should be on the premises as he’s one of the best of his generation, but an emphasis on stamina isn’t going to play into his hands and should leave him vulnerable late on.


1 DESERT ENCOUNTER – Better than ever this season for David Simcock but he was no match for Barney Roy in the Eclipse earlier in the year. He is suited by further but the softer ground will help and he’ll be attempting to run on late into a place.

2 HIGHLAND REEL – Extremely game front-runner for Aidan O’Brien who is a dual Group 1 winner this season, not disgraced when fourth in the King George behind Enable. The softer ground is a big concern though and makes this is a big ask.

3 MAVERICK WAVE – Has acted as a pacemaker in this race for the past two renewals, dropping out tamely behind Enable in the King George when used in the same way. Has no hope in this company.

4 POET’S WORD – Extremely consistent sort for Sir Michael Stoute who has proven progressive this season, finishing a brilliant second in the Irish Champion Stakes when last seen. The best is yet to come from him and he’s a strong each way contender.

5 SUCCESS DAYS – Front-runner for Ken Condon who won a Group 2 at York in game fashion two starts ago, nowhere near that standard when slammed in the Irish Champion Stakes. He’s up against it at this level.

6 BARNEY ROY – One of the best three year olds in training, winning the St James’s Palace Stakes in June and he’s gone well in two Group 1s since for Richard Hannon. He has clear claims but the emphasis on stamina this time around won’t play in his favour and leaves him vulnerable at the finish.

7 BRAMETOT – Classy French raider for Andre Fabre who won the French Derby three starts ago before a great effort to finish fifth in the Arc at Chantilly. A drop back in trip will suit and he loves softer ground, so he should be tough to beat under Cristian Demuro.

8 CLIFFS OF MOHER – Finished second in the Derby on only his fourth start but he’s come up short at the 1m 2f distance three times since. He was well held in the Irish Champion Stakes on his latest start and only has each way claims in this race with softer ground a question mark.

9 CRACKSMAN – Proved how smart he was when storming clear to win the Great Voltigeur at York, winning a French Group 2 easily on his latest outing. A drop back in trip should be fine as the softer ground will make this a true test and he’s going to be a big danger.

10 RECOLETOS – Won a Group 3 at Maisons-Laffitte on his latest start, but he was all out that day and the form isn’t good enough to see him go close here. The testing ground will suit him, but he should simply be outclassed.