It’s Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, as the curtain closes on the domestic Flat season.

Six races, comprised of four Group 1s, a Group 2 and a £100,000 handicap, take place between 13:15-16:25.

After sustained rainfall, the ground is advertised as Soft on the Straight Course and Good to Soft, Soft in places on the Inner Course, which is now being used instead of the Round Course, as of Friday afternoon.

With that crucial info in mind, how about we try and find some winners?

Ascot Champions Day Tips

  • 14:25 – Bluestocking e/w @ 9/1
  • 15:05 – Big Rock @ 13/2
  • 15:45 – Mostahdaf @ 3/1

14:25 – Bluestocking e/w @ 9/1

The Fillies & Mares Stakes – a Group 1 over 1m4f which now takes place on the Inner Course – has been very kind, at least in recent years, to three-year-olds. They’ve taken eight of the last nine renewals.

My eyes were instantly drawn to Aidan O’Brien’s Jackie Oh, but she’s short enough tackling this trip for the first time after having her seventh run of the season at Longchamp just 20 days ago.

Sweet Memories and French raider Rue Boissonade are respected, but I’m siding with Bluestocking for the red-hot Ralph Beckett & Rossa Ryan.

I was disappointed immediately after her narrow defeat to Al Qareem in the Listed Stand Cup Stakes at Chester in September, but that looks better after the latter’s Group 3 scalp at Ascot earlier this month – and generally I find myself forgiving Chester performances, given the nature of that track.

If the filly who just missed out on Irish Oaks glory and ran respectably in the Yorkshire Oaks shows up, she’s a cracking each-way bet (four places) here with conditions to suit.

15:05 – Big Rock @ 13/2

Just over half-an-hour later is the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, or the QEII as it’s often referred to. It’s another Group 1, this time over a mile on the Straight Course.

Again, three-year-olds have a good record in this and unsurprisingly they dominate the current market, with O’Brien’s Paddington a relatively short-priced favourite and Dermot Weld’s Tahiyra vying for second spot in the betting with Nashwa.

The one I like, however, is Big Rock for French trainer Christopher Head.

I can easily see it being heavy ground come the off, which is exactly what this three-year-old son of Rock Of Gibraltar wants. His Group 3 success on desperate going at Chantilly in May, beating one of the Champion Stakes favourites in Horizon Dore by 5L, is right out of the top drawer.

Since then, he’s finished second on three occasions, but there’s no shame in that given his conquerors include the mightily-impressive Arc winner Ace Impact and the supremely-talented Inspiral.

It’s reported he’s come out of the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in brilliant shape, and there’s a certain confidence about his chances. I’m expecting a big run from Big Rock.

15:45 – Mostahdaf @ 3/1

Not even 24 hours ago, John & Thady Gosden’s Mostahdaf was double the price for the Champion Stakes – the card’s final Group 1 contest, over 1m2f.

Now that it’s confirmed it’ll be staged on the Inner Course, on better ground, he’s been supported and is, at time of writing, joint-favourite with the aforementioned Horizon Dore.

If the ground is indeed as good as is being advertised and the forecast is right, I think the five-year-old son of Frankel will take all the beating.

He’s been outstanding since his no-show in last year’s Arc, especially at this trip, winning two Group 1s on the bounce including when putting an end to QEII fav Paddington’s winning streak in the Juddmonte International at York in August – a clear career-best performance.

He’s the best horse in this race and I don’t think he’s nearly as ground dependent as is made out, so he should handle the cut in the ground. I wouldn’t want it bottomless, admittedly, but current conditions will do.

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