CHAR­LIE MCCANN

Char­lie McCann reck­ons 7-1 is great each-way value for John Gos­den’s charge in the Long Dis­tance Cup

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Char­lie gives his ex­pert view on Cham­pi­ons Day at As­cot

Cham­pi­ons Day at As­cot is shapin­gup to ri­val both Ir­ish Cham­pi­ons Week­end and Arc Day at Chan­tilly as one of the big­gest and best cards of Flat racing, with Cham­pi­ons Series fi­nale promis­ing a block­buster day of Group 1 racing. Both Group 1 high­lights, the QE2 and the Cham­pion Stakes, saw Europe’s two star 3yo con­firmed as Cham­pi­ons with Mind­ing win­ning a 7th Group One over As­cot’s straight mile and Al­man­zor win­ning the Cham­pi­ons Stakes to con­firm his sta­tus as Europe’s premier mid­dle-dis­tance colt.

Nei­ther will un­for­tu­nately be with us at As­cot, with the ca­reers of both Mind­ing and Al­man­zor, both kept in train­ing as 4yos, cur­tailed due to in­jury giv­ing an op­por­tu­nity for oth­ers to claim their sta­tus as the very best. Mind­ing beat the pair of Ribch­ester and Light­ning Spear in the QE2 and her ab­sence has seen Richard Fa­hey’s miler stamp his au­thor­ity as the very best in his field.

Godol­phin have his­tor­i­cally dis­ap­pointed with their run­ners at Cham­pi­ons Day thus far,but look set to make amends this year with Ribch­ester flanked by the likes of Harry An­gel and Bar­ney Roy else­where. Ribch­ester has won four times at the high­est level this sea­son, em­u­lat­ing his near misses last year with a track record in the Queen Anne at Royal As­cot and wins ei­ther side at first New­bury in the Lockinge and more re­cently by storm­ing home to win the Prix Moulin in France. He is un­op­pos­able over As­cot’s straight mile and has ab­so­lutely no con­cerns about the ground.

The same can be said about Harry An­gel, who blitzed a strong field in the Sprint Cup on heavy ground at Hay­dock,to bet­ter his July Cup suc­cess at New­mar­ket. Clive Cox’s 3yo has got bet­ter with ev­ery run this year and is likely to con­firm the form with re­cent ri­vals The Tin Man, Li­mato and Tasleet.

The boys in blue are likely to be rep­re­sented by Bar­ney Roy in a wide-open re­newal of the Cham­pion Stakes – an­other who broke the track record at Royal As­cot. Godol­phin pi­lot James Doyle got the frac­tions spot-on to win the St James’s Palace Stakes at the royal meet­ing and has been kept fresh af­ter miss­ing the Ir­ish Cham­pion Stakes last month. Churchill was backed into odds-on for that Group One con­test and has plenty of ques­tions to an­swer af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort un­der Ryan Moore.

Moore was per­haps un­lucky in fail­ing to utilise a gap up the in­side rail and I wouldn’t be quick to write-off a horse that was bril­liant in both Guineas suc­cesses at New­mar­ket and the Cur­ragh. At 6/1 with BetVic­tor he looks a fair price to bounce back,given his main mar­ket ri­vals are likely to head else­where. The likes of Ulysses, High­land Reel and En­able, all trad­ing at sin­gle fig­ure prices,are likely to head for the Arc and there­fore miss the mile and a quar­ter Group One for Europe’s most pres­ti­gious mid­dle dis­tance con­test.

Else­where, BetVic­tor are bot­tom price 5/4 for Or­der of St Ge­orge to win the Long Dis­tance Cup. How­ever, I’m a big fan of Stradi­var­ius and think he is a huge price at 7/1 for each-way back­ers. John Gos­den’s 3yo showed a ter­rific at­ti­tude to bat­tle back and fin­ish third in last month’s St Leger at Don­caster and is proven over the 2m trip hav­ing low­ered the colours of Big Orange in the Good­wood Cup.The classic gen­er­a­tion re­ceive 7lb from their elders and that could prove ef­fect over the marathon trip.

An­other 3yo ex­pected to go well against her elders is Coronet,who failed to stay the Leger trip last month at Don­caster. John Gos­den’s filly chased home En­able in the York­shire Oaks at the Ebor meet­ing but prior to that showed a ter­rific at­ti­tude to win the Rib­bles­dale Stakes at Royal As­cot.She goes on any ground.

Cham­pi­ons Day at As­cot;

Cham­pion Stakes – Churchill at 6/1 with BetVic­tor QE2 Stakes – Ribch­ester at 5/2 with BetVic­tor Cham­pi­ons Sprint – Harry An­gel at Even Money with BetVic­tor Long Dis­tance Cup – Stradi­var­ius at 7/1 with BetVic­tor Cham­pion Fil­lies’ and Mares – Coronet at 6/1 with BetVic­tor

For all the lat­est odds head to BetVic­tor.com and fol­low @BetVic­torRac­ing on Twit­ter

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