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Champion Stakes preview

Huge day of racing at Ascot tomorrow, just a shame the rain has come and the forecast tomorrow is for 45-50mph winds. Hats off to the BHA for creating this fabulous race meeting within a very busy end-of-season period. Great racing all day, capped off by the Champion Stakes, the richest race on the card.

Taking on the feature race is international racing aficionado, Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke. 

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Qipco Champion Stakes
Group 1, £1,300,000, 10f (2011m)
Ascot 1550 BST, 0150 AEST
ODDS LISTED ARE BEST AVAILABLE (FRIDAY AFTERNOON)

1 Desert Encounter (25/1): Got up in the closing stages to win a G3 level
in the Legacy Cup at Newbury last time, a deserved win. Disappointed in
the King George, on similar ground prior however three weeks before that
was third in the Eclipse. Best runs have been on ground good or better,
that is not the case here. They should be running the race on the inner
track, where the ground is firm, in my opinion, disgrace their not!

2 Highland Reel (10/1): Great horse, and love him but the ground is soft
so may as well stop typing as he will surely likely be pulled out, follow
him at Del Mar in a couple of weeks.

3 Maverick Wave (125/1): Fourth consecutive run on British Champions
Day, second in the Balmoral in 2014, and run 11th and 10th in the last two
renewals of this, as a pacemaker for Jack Hobbs! Interesting if he is a
pacemaker for Barney Roy, also owned by Godolphin, or Cracksman, also
trained by John Gosden, or both?

4 Poet’s Word (13/2): Hugely progressive Stoute type that ran a screamer
to be second in the Irish equivalent of this last time at Leopardstown when
just run down late by Decorated Knight.

5 Success Days (40/1): Second last and last in the last two runnings of the
equivalent of this contest at Leopardstown. Nose G2 winner at York in
July over Mondialiste, prior to that a half-length second to Johannes
Vermeer, Caulfield Cup favourite down under. Outsider.

6 Barney Roy (4/1): Had big hype early in the season, arguably should’ve
won the Newmarket 2000 Guineas after stumbling badly 2f out. Then got
revenge at Royal Ascot at G1 level. However second in the Eclipse to
Ulysses, very game, and beaten again by him at this trip into third in the
York International, in what was a very interesting ride from James Doyle.
That was the worst ground he has run on, this is worse, questions to be
answered.

7 Brametot (6/1): Was my ante-post tip for the Leopardstown Champion
and the Arc earlier in the season. Brilliantly won the Poulains and Prix du
Jockey Club in France but was well done the track since at Deauville when
nowhere near his best. However in the Arc de Triomphe last time, he
began with them, as good as anything, for once and ran a very game fifth.
Has won back my liking after that brilliant run, been an up and down
season for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, won this last year, can win it again.

8 Cliffs Of Moher (10/1):  In my opinion is overrated. Second in the
Derby, when all over the winner but failing in the last 100 yards up the
famous hill. Had no chance in the Eclipse after nearly falling early but
well beaten in the Juddmonte International, if anything went off as
pacemaker for Churchill in that, and Irish Champion since, but didn’t have
the clearest of runs. Place possible.

9 Cracksman (2/1): Possibly a bit short as personally, unlike his brilliant
stablemate from two years ago, I think he is a mile and a half horse only
and I wonder how he will adapt over 10f at proper G1 level. In saying that
has been brilliant this year winning the Derby trial, third at Epsom and a
place better at the Curragh subsequently. Two easy G2 wins over a mile
and a half up at York and in Paris since, however I do stress the 10f trip is
a bit sharp for him at G1 level.

10 Recoletos (25/1): French raider that looked really good when beating
Waldgeist and Akihiro easily at G2 level earlier in the year. Since third in
the French Derby, well done the track in the Deauville G2, ground was too
firm, and a nose G3 winner last time of a nice race. More a prospect for
next year possibly at this level but still a really nice horse that can run a
cheeky race.

Ratings: (7) BRAMETOT - (9) CRACKSMAN - (10) RECOLETOS (4)
POET’S WORD - (6) BARNEY ROY – (8) CLIFFS OF MOHER - (2)
HIGHLAND REEL - (1) DESERT ENCOUNTER - (5) SUCCESS DAYS
- (3) MAVERICK WAVE

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