One of those exceptional Saturdays in the ITV racing calendar – Ascot’s QIPCO Champions Day, Saturday, Oct 21st.

All six races on the card are being broadcast LIVE. Action starts at 13.15, and runs through until the last contest at 16.25.

Here’s our tip-top menu; with surely something for everyone included.

13:15 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup 2m
13:50 QIPCO British Champions Sprint 6f
14:25 QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ And Mares 1m 4f
15:05 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes 1m
15:45 QIPCO Champion Stakes 1m 2f
16:25 Balmoral Handicap 7f

ITV Racing tips

  • 13:15 Ascot – Trueshan @ 7/4
  • 13:50 Ascot – Kinross @ 13/8
  • 14:25 Ascot – Jackie Oh @ 4/1
  • 15:05 Ascot – Tahiyra @ 4/1
  • 15:45 Ascot – Via Sistina each-way @ 15/2
  • 16:25 Ascot – Sonny Liston each-way @ 7/1

13:15 – Trueshan @ 7/4

Hollie Doyle has struck up a fine partnership with Alan King’s fabulous 7-yr-old stayer, and the gelding is in great nick this autumn.

A brave Doncaster Stakes win last month was followed a fortnight later by an authoritative and emphatic all-the-way triumph in the Cadran at Longchamp. Soft ground, which seems assured, is his thing, and while Aidan’s Kyprios is an outstanding Group 1 champion, and a fellow Cadran hero, he’s only run once since Oct ’22.

That was in early-Sept, finishing second at the Curragh to Eldar Eldarov. Showing form well below his best, he was of course entitled to need the run but one has to be slightly wary. Trueshan is gloriously uncomplicated, and Hollie might just set sail again from the outset and say ‘catch me if you can.’

A lovely way to start what should be a fantastic day, celebrating some of the season’s standout performers.

13:50 – Kinross @ 13/8

Cards on the table – I thought this fabulous gelded son of Kingman was dealt a horrible hand late on at Longchamp in his last race on Arc weekend. Bar being messed around close home he’d have dotted up for me, and I firmly expect rich compensation to await in this Champions Sprint.

Kinross is consistency itself, and has a comfortable cushion in terms of official ratings. He’s extremely likely to replicate his usual elite level of performance, so for me rates a good thing on Saturday. Can’t see past him, and don’t want to. Gets further than this trip, and that will be handy in potentially testing ground.

14:25 – Jackie Oh @ 4/1

Tipped up this one in the l’Opera at Longchamp last time, and she finished a brilliant second, beaten just a neck. This is a progressive filly, trained by the peerless AP O’Brien, and ridden by the equally-stunning Ryan Moore.

Big field for this Fillies and Mares, and Jackie Oh is stepping up to 12 furlongs, but as a daughter of the great Galileo that should be well within compass. Out of a Rock of Gibraltar mare she’s got both pace and stamina in her pedigree, qualities needed to prevail on Saturday.

3-yr-olds have a compelling record in this, including 8 of the last 9, and I believe Jackie Oh is ideally placed to strike for the Classic generation once again on Saturday.

15:05 – Tahiyra @ 4/1

Dermot Weld trains my selection, who I had the pleasure of walking past on Juddmonte Day at York, back in August. Mr Weld, that is. He knew I’d recognised him, and accorded me a warm, kindly smile. What a gent, and what a legendary trainer.

Tahiyra is an Aga Khan-owned daughter of Siyouni, and is enjoying a brilliant season. 2nd in the 1000 Guineas, winner of the Coronation at the Royal meeting, and ready scorer in Leopardstown’s Matron Stakes last month.

Not too over-raced at all then, so should still be cherry-ripe, hopefully, for this. Not sure what to make of Paddington after the Juddmonte, but prior to that his season had been incredible. Pops back to a mile here. Nashwa is ultra-consistent, but better at ten furlongs? I think so.

A race to savour, one mile, fair-sized field, and some big guns line up.

15:45 – Via Sistina each-way @ 15/2

Looked at this for an hour, and would normally have filed it under ‘far too difficult’ – but then what I think is a decent each-way prospect sneaked into view.

Via Sistina is hitting form at just the right time for this. George Boughey’s 5-yr-old mare ran a blinder at Deauville last time, winning a Group 1 at this ten furlong trip (August 20th), and has had a nice little break since. Should be fresh, then – for this competitive-looking contest commanding an eye-watering prize.

Cut in the ground, while not seemingly essential, seems to suit, and the Deauville Racing Post rating equalled her career-best. I fear Mostahdaf most – comfortable winner of York’s Juddmonte Stakes and not seen since. Connections have expressed concern about the ground being potentially too soft, but if the elements and possible re-jigging of racecourse terrain somehow engineers a decent surface, he’s a massive danger to all.

A tricky, but totally enthralling, Champion Stakes.

16:25 – Sonny Liston each-way @ 7/1

If you thought the Champion was difficult …. ! 20 runners are scheduled to start, it’s around 6/1 the field, BUT we’re paying FIVE places each-way. My selection Sonny Liston is a thoroughly-consistent campaigner who’s been in some of the season’s best battles at around this trip.

Royal Hunt Cup, John Smith’s, Golden Mile, Clipper handicap; and last time at Donny the teak-tough 4-yr-old was beaten just a neck in a 15-runner charge down the straight on Town Moor at this level.

Ralph Beckett has again booked Ryan Moore, in the plate for his last two spins, and it’s time the pair gained a well-deserved win. Resisted any temptation for the use of ‘landing knockout blow’ or similar, though sorely tempted. Obvs.

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