Betting Tips and Previews: Horse Racing

Ascot Champions Day 2017 - 21st October 2017

 Tags for this Article

Horse Racing Ascot Ascot Champions Day

Top 4 Sports Betting Offers

Aidan O'Brien primed to break training record - Ascot Champions Day

Like Tweet +1

Ascot’s flat racing equivalent of the Cheltenham Festival arrives this weekend. First held in 2011, The Qipco British Champions Day is still the richest day of racing on the entire calendar, with well in excess of £4 million worth of prize money on offer. It’s also the twilight of a long summer of flat racing where champions are decided and old scores are settled.

Aidan O’Brien brings, as always, a formidable string led by Order Of St George, Winter, and Churchill with the latter two set to lock horns for the first time in the Qipco Champion Stakes. It could also be an emotional day for the Ballydoyle team as Aidan O’Brien should almost certainly break the long held record of 25 Group One victories in one season held by American trainer Robert J Frankel. 


We will cover all the races and see where the best value lies at this early stage along with feasting our eye over the competitive Balmoral Handicap added for extra punting spice. It’s a fantastic, colossal day for racing and a fine way to see out the flat season. And so to the principal race of the day. Is O’Brien going to unleash Winter to take on Churchill or is Crackman’s latest run of form set to dominate?

The Qipco Champion Stakes, 1550 Ascot

An intriguing but tricky puzzle to follow. The romanticists among us would love nothing more than Churchill or Winter to storm through the pack and claim the magic 26th Grade One for Aidan O’Brien. However, Cracksman trained by John Gosden has really found his rhythm in his last two starts winning both by considerable distances including a decent victory in the Voltiger at York. Doubts over his stamina for races beyond a mile are widespread considering he is bred as a one miler, however, this son of Frankel has won over 1 ¼ miles in the past.


Ulysses is not to be discounted whilst Barney Roy has had a very consistent season. Nevertheless, I am going to settle for recent form and get behind Cracksman to step up for Grade One glory at 3/1 best with bet365 and Paddy Power. The Irish firm (along with Betfair Sportsbook) are also offering an enticing 12/1 for Churchill the 2000 Guineas winner, surely an each way steal.

Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, 1325 Ascot

This fascinating clash represents another quandary of mid to long distance specialists either stepping up or down in distance. Order Of St George leads the market at 6/4 best (most firms) and it’s entirely probable that the Aidan O’Brien 5 year old will land this to give the trainer the golden 26 in the first race of the day. He’s been game all season and although Enable found him out in The Arc, stepping back up to 2 miles will not worry him at Ascot considering how he stayed on valiantly behind Big Orange in The Gold Cup (2 miles 4f) at the Royal meeting in June.

Big Orange will also be a factor of course, however, I think the speed of Stradivarius may come into play and this improving 3 year old looked like he could stay 2 miles after his brilliant run behind Capri in the St Ledger last month. John Gosden’s charge is best backed at 6/1 with bet365.

The Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, 1400 Ascot

This should go to the enigmatic and highly popular Harry Angel (5/4 most firms) who has been scintillating all season. However, with the ground likely to soften up with the predicted rain forecasted, Carravagio (4’s most firms) certainly represents a live danger based on his comfortable win at The Curragh a month ago. The ever consistent The Tin Man for the each way option at 13/2 best with Betfair Sportsbook.

The Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, 1440 Ascot

Wide open contest here with Journey leading the pack at 4/1 best (most firms) and the Gosden charge despite being beaten whilst favourite for a Group One at Chantilly last time out, should put in a bold show. I like the look of Rhododendron who bounced back to form also at Chantilly last time out. This 1000 Guineas runner-up looks a nice each way deal at 8/1 best with bet365 and Paddy Power.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 1515 Ascot

This should go Ribchester’s way for the North Yorkshire based Richard Fahey team. He’s been a great servant all season and this win will almost certainly set him aside as Europe’s best one miler. However, the impending soft ground is a worry after his Sussex Stakes defeat at Goodwood over heavy ground. Beat The Bank is a progressive sort and represents the main danger. Ribchester best backed at 5/2 most firms.


The Balmoral Handicap, 1630 Ascot

This mighty competitive handicap rounds off the day in some style. Plenty in with a shout and although Zabeel Prince has been well backed in recent days (down to 6/1 best, bet365, Boylesports), there’s much better value elsewhere. I quite like the look of Raising Sand trained by ex-jump jockey Jamie Osborne. He always runs a decent race at Ascot and has yet to steal the eye of the handicapper. Firms have been super generous on the big field handicaps lately, offering 8 places (William Hill) so this is one horse to definitely seize upon with a decent each way offer. 16/1 best with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook.

Good luck with all bets for Qipco Champions Day!


Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, 1325 Ascot
STRADIVARIUS (win) 6/1 at bet365

The Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, 1400 Ascot
HARRY ANGEL (win) 5/4 most firms - bet365

The Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, 1440 Ascot
RHODODENDRON (e/w) 8/1 at bet365, Paddy Power

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 1515 Ascot
RIBCHESTER (win) 5/2 most firms - bet365

The Qipco Champion Stakes, 1550 Ascot
Cracksman (win) 3/1 at bet365, Paddy Power

The Balmoral Handicap, 1630 Ascot
RAISING SAND (e/w) 16/1 at Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook.

Matt is Howtobet4free's resident Horse Racing expert, writer, tipster and a huge Cheltenham Festival fan. He occasionally dabbles in Golf, Football and anything else you can gamble on!

View other articles by

Comments & Feedback

Please log in to join the conversation. Login