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The flat season reaches a pulsating climax this week as the stars of the season make up an ensemble cast for the coveted Qipco Ascot Champions Day.
Top of the bill is without doubt the final appearance of all conquering Baaeed as he strives to sign off with a straight eleven wins. He features in the Qipco Champions Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs where his main danger appears to be Adayar.
We check out the best bets and tips for all 6 races on this impressive card with best odds provided by our partner firms, Bet365, William Hill, Betfred, Bet Victor and Boylesports.
Race 1: Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, 1325 Ascot
The obvious omission from this race is of course the enigmatic Stradivarius, who was retired last month.
Nevertheless, it still leaves us with a tantalising card. Hat-trick seeking Trueshan leads the market (2/1 William Hill). The Alan King trained 6-year-old has every chance now that his old foe Stradivarius is not around, but I think the danger may come from recent St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov who appeared to have plenty in the tank in that Doncaster classic when he beat New London.
Eldar Eldarov is our choice to land this at 7/2 with Bet365 and Bet Victor.
Race 2: Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, 1400 Ascot
The sprint championship race sees Creative Force trained by Charlie Appleby attempt to retain his crown from last year. He absolutely loves this course and trip and seems substantial value at 5/2 (bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor, Betfred, Boylesports).
However, he is up against another course specialist in the shape of Rohaan who took the Wokingham at the Royal meeting back in June and then followed up with a Group 3 win earlier in the month. This is a much harder race, but he does certainly excel over this course and distance.
We take a chance on Rohaan to improve again at 4/1 (bet365, William Hill, Bet Victor).
Race 3: The Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, 1440 Ascot
The Gosden trained Emily Upjohn (7/2 Bet365, William Hill) will be looking to restore her slightly tarnished reputation after her very poor run in The King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes back in July.
If she can reproduce her brilliant run in the Cazoo Epsom Oaks, where she ran a gallant close second after a poor start, then she has every chance.
However, this is possibly the ultimate definition of “dodgy favourite” and better value can surely be gained elsewhere.
Last year’s winner Eshaada looks great each way value at 7/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Betfred and Boylesports.
Race 4: The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 1520 Ascot
Very hard to see past the Gosden trained Inspiral in this renewal of the The QE II.
He was tantalising in The Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting where he ran out a 4-length winner despite a slow start and running into trouble for most of the race. 6/5 best with Bet Victor.
Race 5: The Qipco Champion Stakes, 1600 Ascot
The race of the meeting without doubt.
Baaeed, representing the William Haggas stable bids to become arguably the greatest flat horse since the likes of Frankel. This season he has been scintillating, the highlight being a demolition of a quality field in the Juddmonte International at York, when he was tested over 1-mile 2f for the first time, beating Mishriff by seven lengths.
Arguably the best performance of any racehorse in the UK since Frankel, it will take something special to thwart Baaeed’s 11th straight win.
Is Adayar the special one, therefore? Possibly. The 2021 Derby winner impressed many by following up his Epsom triumph with victory in the The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a feat not achieved since Galileo in 2001.
He had also Mishriff behind in that Ascot race. The Charlie Appleby horse has had one impressive run at Doncaster this season, so there is a sense of the unexposed about him although Baaeed seems to be about two lengths ahead based on current form.
Adayar is available at 7/2 with William Hill.
Race 6: The Balmoral Handicap, 1640 Ascot
The big handicap rounds off a superb day of racing.
Plenty in with a shout although Escobar (12/1 William Hill) has a great course and distance record.
However, there is great each way value to be had in the David O’Meara trained Orbaan, who has been consistent all season and has a listed win at Ascot to his name. 20/1 best with William Hill.
Race 1: Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, 1325 Ascot: ELDAR ELDAROV - Bet365
Race 2: Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, 1400 Ascot: ROHAAN - Bet365
Race 3: The Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, 1440 Ascot: ESHAADA - Bet365
Race 4: The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 1520 Ascot: INSPIRAL - Bet Victor
Race 5: The Qipco Champion Stakes, 1600 Ascot: BAAEED - William Hill
Race 6: The Balmoral Handicap, 1640 Ascot: ORBAAN - William Hill
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (4pm 13th October 2022) and are subject to change.