Gosden Team On Song For Champions Day
John Gosden has got a great team going to Ascot for Champions Day and it would be a massive shock if he left the track without a winner today.
As usual it is Aidan O’Brien who sends over the biggest Irish challenge and he may be able to upset one of Gosden’s odds on shots to claim one of the rare top level races that has so far eluded the Ballydoyle maestro.
Capri To Find The Cracks
Last year’s St Leger winner Capri wouldn’t have been an obvious choice for the Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs but with soft ground and a below average field, Capri could well give Aidan O’Brien a first English Champion Stakes.
Cracksman hasn’t been seen since going down to Poet’s Word at Royal Ascot and blinkers are tried for the first time in an attempt to finish his career in style.
Cracksman just hasn’t looked the same horse this year and his runs have led to questions about his temperament, while the fact that he had been prepared for at least three major Group 1 assignments since Royal Ascot and not ran in any of them would also be a concern.
Capri missed most of the summer after making a winning debut at Naas earlier in the year. He pleased connections with his prep run for the Arc before finishing fifth behind Enable in the Arc itself and that was a fair effort from the four-year-old. Dropping back to this trip is a bit of a big ask at this level for Capri but it doesn’t look a great renewal and…
Ryan Moore may just be able to boss this on his terms and hold off all challengers at the business end.
Gosden Team On Song
Horses dropping back in trip may well be a big talking point on this Champions Day and that move could work well for John Gosden with both Lah Ti Dar and Roaring Lion.
Lah Ti Dar drops back to a mile and a half having run a blinder in the English St Leger last month and she looks a solid favourite for Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes.
It was a big ask to pitch Lar Ti Dar into the Leger but she ran with credit and a mixture of both her inexperience and the trip accounted for her two and a quarter length defeat to Kew Gardens.
It would be surprise if Frankie didn’t steer her back to winning ways here.
For Roaring Lion the drop back in trip looks more of a risk. All his winning this season came over a mile and a quarter, including in the Irish Champion Stakes but the three-year-old wasn’t disgraced in the Guineas and this mile trip at Ascot today could take a bit of getting with the ground on the soft side so Roaring Lion should be able to overcome that.
Laurens adds plenty of intrigue to the QEII and would certainly look to be Roaring Lion’s biggest challenger with each-way punters surely going to get stuck into her at 8/1 which looks a massive price.
However, Roaring Lion really has progressed this season and he’d be the selection.
Capri (13/2) – 3.50 Ascot
Lah Ti Dar (5/4) – 2.40 Ascot
Roaring Lion (9/4) – 3.15 Ascot
*Prices correct at time of publication.