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Matt Chapman exclusive: Five value bets for Champions Day at Ascot

by Sean Goff | October 18, 2013

chapman_byline People worry about whether Champions Day is at the right time of the year or includes the right races. But on this Blog all we care about is finding a winner or two. That’s how we will celebrate Saturday afternoon Paddy – by smashing your profits. You hear me Paddy?

Harris Tweed is the top-rated horse in the opening Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup. Someone’s having a laugh aren’t they? The Ascot Gold Cup heroine, ESTIMATE (1.45) is better in my opinion. Sir Michael Stoute’s runner has been off the track since that famous win in June but I still think she’ll take all the beating.

Some have suggested she might not like soft ground but seem to forget she won the Queen’s Vase on soft by five lengths! She’s a strong selection.

Irish raider Maarek is the fav for the Qipco British Champions Sprint, but 6f here will be very different to the 5f at Longchamp where he was so good in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

xxx: (pic: Inpho)

RAPID IMPROVER: Vitzoria can step up again at  Ascot (pic: Inpho)

The one to be on here though is three-year-old compatriot VITZORIA (2.20) who is lightly raced and open to improvement. She loves soft ground and was only beaten five lengths by Moonlight Cloud at Longchamp over 7f last time and before that scored with masses in hand at Doncaster.

Eddie Lynam’s runner looks a rock solid each-way bet. I can’t see the Oaks winner Talent getting the strong gallop she needs so I’ll take her on with DALKALA (2.55)  The French challenger is proven on a testing surface. She looked great last time when beating Tasaday in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. Everything looks right for her to score again and she’s a fine bet.

Class act in Champion Stakes

All eyes will be on the magnificent 2,000 Guineas hero Dawn Approach (3.30). But I will be backing MAXIOS who looks bound for the first three and I’ll be on each-way. He was a fine winner of the Moulin last time after disappointing against Al Kazeem earlier in the season.

Cut in the ground is fine and while Dawn Approach is clearly the class act I am happy to take him on. Olympic Glory is of some interest, but it’s a French winner for me. Farhh surely will not be at a peak and Ruler of the World needs further rather than this trip of 1m 2f.

I am all over CIRRUS DES AIGLES (4.05) in the Qipco Champion Stakes . He’s won the race in 2011 and chased home Frankel 12 months ago.

Earlier this season he looked a shadow of his former self. But trainer Corine Barbe gave me very clear reasons why that was and she was spot on as he bounced back to his very best at Longchamp last time. He’s class.

Enjoy a fabulous day – hopefully made even better by taking Paddy’s cash! Yeeehaaa!


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