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Live the dream! Here’s five horses that could return £16k off a 50p each-way Super Yankee on Champions Day at Ascot

If you never have a dream, how are you ever going to have a dream come true? 

by Josh Powell | October 16, 2014

Champions Day at Ascot is the richest ever flat meeting in the British racing calendar, so it makes sense that Saturday is the day we here at the Paddy Power Blog attempt to retire by going through the card. The best horses and jockeys from across the land will line up to chase a record-breaking £3.75 million in prize money across the final races in each of the five QIPCO British Champions Series categories. And we’ll be cheering them on from our couch as we try to pocket our own mini-fortune.

Our plan is very simple. We’re taking three key racing stats, throwing in the horses for each race, making a lovely-looking Venn diagram, and hopefully coming out with winners galore. The heavy rain that has battered Britain means we’re looking for horses that have won on soft ground or worse, and we’re also looking for a gee-gee with Ascot winning form who is racing off their highest rating.

A cheeky fiver accumulator would usually be our punt of choice but in case we get stung by one leg letting us down, we’re opting for the old 50p e/w Super Yankee in an attempt to pocket more than £16k. Here’s who we’re plumping for as we go through Saturday’s Ascot card…

Race 1: British Champions Long Distance Cup

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Crunching the stats for the Long Distance Cup at Ascot

Paddy’s Punt: Leading Light 9/4

Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old is the favourite for Ascot’s opener and we’re banking on him getting us off to the perfect start. He has two runs and two wins at Ascot – including the Gold Cup here in June that was run on good-to-firm ground. Luckily though, being Irish, Leading Light has experienced a bit of rain, winning on heavy ground at Tipperary back in 2012, so a bit of cut in the ground isn’t too much of a concern. He was rated a career-high 118 for that run and goes off the same mark again. A whole bundle of horses including Forgotten Rules and Whiplash Willie have wins on soft and are at a career-high rating but just haven’t done it at Ascot, while Estimate has form at the course and on the ground, but isn’t back to his career-high rating of 114 this time last year.

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Race 2: British Champions Sprint Stakes

Crunching the stats for the Sprint Stakes at Ascot

Paddy’s Punt: Jack Dexter 6/1

None of these horses hit all three trends, but Graham Lee takes the ride on Jack Dexter, and seven of this fella’s wins have been on soft or heavy. There is certainly no worry about the ground. He won the Future Stars Apprentice Handicap at this meeting in 2012 and although hasn’t been in the best form of his career, we’re banking on Dexter to at least make the frame. G Force is the 3/1 favourite for this race, but made it into just one of our categories. The three-year-old has only ever won on good ground and is unproven at the course, while 5/1 shot Gordon Lord Byron has failed to make the frame in four runs at Ascot. Back Jack.

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Race 3: British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes

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Crunching the stats for the Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot

Paddy’s Punt: Seal of Approval 5/1

A tricky race as none of the field fall into the centre of our Venn diagram meaning we have to look elsewhere. The ground is the biggest talking point of Champions weekend and so our tentative pick is Seal of Approval. She won this race at last year’s Champions Day on soft ground so clearly the course, distance and rainy conditions shouldnt stop her if she’s in the mood. She’s failed to win since then and dropped from a rating of 116 to 108, but hopefully the rain will give her the edge this weekend and put us right in the clover. Two of the leading horses – Chicquita (4/1) and Albasharah (6/1) – don’t hit any of the three trends.

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Race 4: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Crunching the stats for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot

Paddy’s Punt: Integral 11/2

The Queen Lizzy II is up next and Integral is not only a course and distance winner, but a dual-Group 1 winner who is running at a career high 117. Sir Michael Stoute’s filly should have no problem with the rain after winning a Group One at Newmarket on soft ground in July. Night of Thunder would have been plum in the middle of our Venn diagram, but his only run at Ascot saw him finish second behind Kingman, while Charm Spirit has never been to the course. It’s a competitive race but the trends speak for themselves and we are plumping for Integral.

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Race 5: Champion Stakes

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Crunching the stats for the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Paddy’s Punt: Pether’s Moon 16/1

Saving the biggest price until last – and if we’re still on for the acca at this point we’ll be in dreamland. The Richard Hughes and Richard Hannon combination on Pether’s Moon is the hipster choice in the Champion Stakes, with all the focus is on Cirrus Des Aigles, Free Eagle and Noble Mission. However, Pether’s Moon has finished in the frame in three of his four Ascot runs, winning here last time out in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes. That victory was his second win from three runs on soft ground, so the rain isn’t an issue. While Cirrus Des Aigles has Ascot form and wins on soft ground, he isn’t close to his career-best run of 2013 when he was rated 131. Meanwhile Free Eagle has never experienced soft ground and Noble Mission hasn’t won in two attempts at Ascot. We’re plumping with a horse in his peak form who’ll love the rain, and that’s Pether’s Moon.

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