Corsican The Value On Champions Day
There aren’t many Flat meetings that boast four Group 1 events on the same card, but that’s exactly what punters will have served up for them at Ascot on Saturday, where the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2.30) and Champion Stakes (3.05) take centre stage.
Solow To Sail Home In QEII?
First the QEII, where French raider Solow (evens) returns in an attempt to land a second C&D win following the Queen Anne Stakes in June. Having added another Group 1 at Goodwood the following month, Freddie Head’s 5yo comes here with the right credentials and the recent rain will be in his favour.
Gleneagles Is Back!
Standing in Solow’s way will be the Irish hope Gleneagles (9/4) who also won over C&D when taking the St James’s Palace Stakes when last seen in June. A dual 2,000 Guineas beforehand – including on yielding – Gleneagles looks sure to throw down a big challenge, especially as
Aidan O’Brien has won this three times during the last ten years
…including with the Guineas winner, George Washington.
Hobbs The Champion?
The Champion Stakes half an hour later also sees a well-backed favourite in Jack Hobbs (6/5), the Irish Derby winner who warmed up for this by landing a Group 3 last month (1m4f). The only question mark surrounding this 3yo is the step back to 1m2f, while 4-5yo’s have won the last six renewals of the Champion Stakes – a fact that may also count against Aidan O’Brien’s Found (5/1).
Corsican The Value
With that in mind it could pay to look for some each-way value among the older runners including David Simcock’s 4yo The Corsican (10/1), who may have got closer than fourth in the Prince of Wales’s over C&D in June but for a blocked run and had a confidence-boosting Group 3 win last month (1m3f, good to soft). Andre Fabre’s 4yo Vadamos (4/1) is another alternative against the favourite and showed improved form in winning a German Group 2 last time.
Muhaarar Back For More
Europe’s best sprinters clash earlier on the card in the Group 1 Champions Sprint Stakes over 6f (1.20), where Muhaarar heads the market on 15/8 having already won three Group 1’s over 6f. One of those was the Commonwealth Cup over C&D in June and a repeat would make him hard to beat if his busy season hasn’t caught up with him.
Should this prove one step too many for Muhaarar, then the Haydock Sprint Cup 1-2, Twilight Son (5/1) and Strath Burn (10/1), will be lurking to take advantage while the progressive James Fanshawe runner The Tin Man (8/1) impressed in handicap company over C&D and could be anything.
Cover Has The Class
The Group 1 Fillies & Mares Stakes (1.55) brings together a talented trio of 3yo fillies in Covert Love (4/1), Candarliya (6/1) and Sea Calisi (6/1), who take on Aidan O’Brien’s 4yo Tapestry (6/1). This really is a clash to savour with several coming into top form, including Covert Love who won the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera on Arc weekend (1m2f). The Irish Oaks winner is partnered once again by Pat Smullen and will take all the beating.
An absolute belting card for punters, and one in which The Corsican represents terrific each-way value in the Champion Stakes at 10/1. Jamie Spencer rode him to victory last time and could pounce late on Saturday for the David Simcock yard which has been in red-hot form of late.
*Prices correct at time of publication