Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Day Preview, 10/16 – By Alex Sausville

With all of the great racing we’ve covered so far this season in Europe, the card assembled for today’s British Champions Day may just be one of the best. 4 Group Ones, a top class staying Group Two and another extremely historic handicap to finish out the card. What more can you ask for!

As well we will see the culmination of several rivalries that have been brewing throughout the season both on the track and in the mind itself. The market leaders are too close for comfort in several of these contests with the likes of Trueshan vs. Stradivarius, Baaeed vs. Palace Pier & Mishriff vs. Adayar. All of these head to head matchups will leave us on the edge of our seats, however be careful locking in on those battles and missing out on some price plays who are keen to upset the applecart on the season finale from Ascot. 

On top of the great racing on tap for QIPCO British Champions Day, keep an eye on two jockeys who have been slugging it out all week in hopes of taking this year’s jockey’s title. It is going to take a massive effort on Saturday from William Buick to take down the current leader in Oisin Murphy, who captured a double on the card at Haydock yesterday and extended his lead to 3 going into the final day. Many would say it is out of reach for Buick needing so many winners on only a 6 race card, however with the backing of Godolphin and the top class runners Buick is set to ride on Saturday, never say never on his chances. All the storylines will be out in full force for QIPCO British Champions Day, make sure to check it out!

 

Race 1 – 12-8-9 – (GII QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup)

Race 2 – 10-8-2 – (GI QIPCO British Champions Sprint)

Race 3 – 8-4-1 – (GI QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares)

Race 4 – 4-10-7 – (GI Queen Elizabeth II Stakes)

Race 5 – 2-5-4 – (GI QIPCO Champions Stakes)

Race 6 – 7-13-20 – (Balmoral Handicap)

Race 1 – #12 – The Mediterranean – Getting the 3 year old weight allowance, the The Mediterranean is head and shoulders the best value in this field against the market leaders of Stradivarius and Trueshan. Has extremely solid form surrounding him even without being able to find the winners enclosure since breaking his maiden. Has a bit more speed on his dams side that would be a question of this trip, however he continues to relish the steps up in distance and he is a son of Galileo, something you can never question in a staying contest.

Race 2 – #10 – Dragon Symbol – A key ride on the card for Oisin Murphy as he continues to make his bid for the riding title. Ran arguably the best race of his season when being DQ’d in the GI Commonwealth Cup over this course and distance. Tough to find a more consistent runner than Dragon Symbol but he has just not been able to get over the hump and win. With that being said, this is a great chance for him to get back to the track he did cross the wire first at and finally capture that Group One glory Archie Watson has been waiting for with this horse. 

Race 4 – #10 – Mother Earth – I won’t be taking a heavy play against Palace Pier in this situation as he is almost impossible to fault. However, for a really nice price Mother Earth has jumped out at me considerably. Thought she put together a couple of good runs in Group One company in her last two, especially given the trip Saffron Beach got to beat her at Newmarket. A Group One winner this season albeit not the strongest Group One in France but has continued to show potential. Has that 6 lb difference with the 3 YO filly weight allowance and not that it will make a massive difference against the market leaders, but I don’t think she is that far off from them at her best to be right there. 

Race 5 – #2 – Al Aasy – Lot of excitement surrounding him at the beginning of the season, as well as after his gelding operation. He always lacked a bit of focus but showed freakish ability that made you think he was a legit top level contender. He did disappoint on first asking after the operation but the Haggas camp is still extremely high on this galloper and chose to step him up in class for this. I truly believe he still has a big race in him and if he stays the price he is currently there is no reason not to have a crack at him to do it today. 

Race 6 – #7 – Aldaary – Put together a dominant effort in the Challenge Cup LTO alongside fellow rival in this race Symbolize. These two were lengths ahead of the field that day and will look to continue to improve. Only effort so far at the mile was not good but it came on ground that did not suit. I think ideally they want to see this horse racing at the mile but just did not get the right conditions to show what he is actually capable of at that distance LTO. Should be much better off today and is a very live chance in another strong rendition of the Balmoral Handicap (American shoutout to Balmoral Park, the last track on Capital OTB when I was really young)

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