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ITV Racing tips for Saturday: Live TV tips for British Champions day at Ascot

Brian Healy 19 Oct 2019
The ITV Racing team are in action on Saturday with every race shown live from British Champions Day at Ascot. (credit:David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images)

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot where four Group One races go to post on Saturday's live TV coverage. 

The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with total focus on Ascot and Qipco British Champions Day where six top-class races will go to post, including four Group One contests.

There had been some doubt surrounding the meeting going ahead due to waterlogged conditions at the track in the wake of the recent wet spell of weather; but those races that would have taken place on the round course have been shifted to take place on the inner hurdles track, while the straight course remains unaffected although the conditions are likely to prove testing.

1:35 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f

2:10 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m7½f

2:45 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m3½f

3:2 Ascot - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) (Sponsored By Qipco) (British Champions Mile) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m

4:00 Ascot - Qipco Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f

4:40 Ascot - Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m

Ed Chamberlain and the team will be on hand to cover all six races on Qipco British Champions Day, and they will have their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis; while Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections on a top-class afternoon of racing action at the Berkshire track.

1:35 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f


An ability to handle testing ground will prove a big plus, and HELLO YOUMZAIN (11/2, Ladbrokes) showed softer ground to be of no issue when taking the recent Group One Haydock Sprint Cup where he beat a few of these rivals including The Tin Man who finished runner-up and reopposes here.

Kevin Ryan’s lightly-raced Kodiac colt ended the unbeaten run of the high-class Calyx when scoring at Haydock in May in the Temple Stakes, and he backed up that run with a solid third behind Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup where he caught the eye running on well having been poorly positioned in the race following a poor start.

He had also won on soft ground as a juvenile in France, and there is sure to be more to come from the low-mileage three-year old who has had just seven career starts which has yielded four wins.

He was getting 2lbs from James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man, and he prevailed by a half-length having made all the running, appearing to score a shade comfortably despite edging left. He is 1lb worse off with the runner-up, but he looks sure to continue to find improvement and he can confirm that form.

Although officially classed as soft ground at Haydock, the conditions were borderline heavy and he showed no ill effects in powering through the ground so every chance he can follow up here with a repeat of that effort. 

2:10 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m7½f


On form alone, Stradivarius should make it eleven wins in a row, and John Gosden’s star stayer has shown winning form on soft, including when winning the Ascot Gold Cup here in June with a defeat of Dee Ex Bee.

The ground on the inner track then should pose no issue for the Sea The Stars entire and he ought to collect. The race for places though looks open and it might be worth chancing on the improving WITHHOLD (12/1, Unibet, each-way) from the Roger Charlton to make the frame and confirm himself as a high-class stayer.

The 2017 Cesarewitch winner has been lightly raced since winning that classy handicap on just his second start for the yard, also winning the following season’s Northumberland plate prior to meeting with injury in the Geelong Cup as he geared up for a crack at the Melbourne Cup.

Absent for almost nine months and having had wind surgery, he has won two of his three outings since coming back this campaign, latterly running out an easy winner of the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes with a six lengths’ defeat of Austrian School having disappointed when tried in the Ebor Handicap at York the time before.

Clearly progressive and with low mileage on the clock, he could be worth chancing to find another jolt of improvement to make the frame here so long as the ground doesn’t deteriorate too badly, and while Stradivarius should collect this Group Two prize, the Dubawi horse can reward each-way supporters with a big run.  

2:45 Ascot - Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m3½f


Ribblesdale Stakes winner STAR CATCHER (13/8, William Hill) can continue to rack up the wins by landing a Group One hat-trick with success in this contest.

John Gosden’s charge has won four of her six career starts, stepping up on her Group Two course and distance win to collect a first Group One success in the Irish Oaks in July. The Sea The Stars filly then returned from a short break to strike a second top-level success with a defeat of Musis Amica to land the Prix Vermeille when last seen.

The fourth - Villa Marina - and seventh horse home, Anapurna, have both won Group Ones since, and with the potential for further improvement to come then she could prove a tough nut to crack here.

She is proven in the conditions, winning twice on soft ground while also showing that a better surface held no fears in those wins at the Curragh and Longchamp, and she remains unbeaten over this trip. Frankie Dettori sides with the daughter of Sea The Stars again over Epsom Oaks heroine Anapurna - on whom he is also unbeaten - and the decision of the mercurial Italian pilot to side with her over her stablemate looks significant.

Likely to prove a tough nut to crack here, she can add to her Group One tally with another top-level success.

3:20 Ascot - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) (Sponsored By Qipco) (British Champions Mile) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m


French raider THE REVENANT (11/4, Bet365) has been described as a ‘swimmer’ by trainer Francois-Henri Graffard on account of his ability to handle the worst conditions in France, and the Dubawi gelding can make the step up to Group One level a winning one.

A winner of his last six starts, of which two have come on heavy ground, he returned from a break latest to demolish the high-class Olmedo to win the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein latest by almost five lengths in soft conditions.

Also a winner for Hugo Palmer previously, he had run second behind Dee Ex Bee in an Epsom contest as a juvenile before his French switch where he has gone from strength to strength, and it would be unwise to think he hasn’t finished off his progress just yet.

Quite a few of these rivals haven’t experienced proper heavy ground, including the returning Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, and so proven ability in the mud in France - where it can get properly deep - rates a big plus to his chances.

While he probably does need to step up again taking on a first Group One, he has been fitted with a first-time hood for this outing which may help trigger further progress, and he could take the prize back to France.


4:00 Ascot - Qipco Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f


CORONET (4/1, Unibet) has been a late bloomer despite a string of classy runs which includes a Group Two win in the 2017 Ribblesdale Stakes and in the Middleton Stakes last term. However, John Gosden’s charge has mate the transition this term into a bona-fide Group One contender, and the Dubawi mare can land a hat-trick of top-level successes.

Only beaten one length behind Magical in the Fillies & Mares’ race on this card twelve months ago, she has taken her form this term up a notch and built on a much-needed return at Newmarket in May to win the Grand Prix De Saint-cloud with a defeat of Ziyad. 

That form has been boosted since, with the winner going on to win a Group Two; while the fourth won a German Group One next time, and the fifth horse home has also won a Group Two since. The Gosden runner however bettered that performance when returning to France to beat With You in the Prix Jean Romanet, and she can strike a third win at the highest level.

3-4 at this ten furlongs trip, she handles soft ground and has a decent record at the Berkshire track where her form figures read 1332 - all over twelve furlongs - so it wouldn’t come as a shock to see her posting another big effort here.

4:40 Ascot - Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m


The consistent KYNREN (8/1, Bet365) finally made a big-handicap breakthrough when beating Greenside over seven furlong here earlier in the month to win the Challenge Cup, and David Barron’s charge could be worth siding with again despite having to carry a 6lbs penalty here.

The Clodovil gelding is a three-time winner on soft ground, and he gets one mile well so the return to this longer trip will be of no concern and he has proven himself to be a highly consistent performer who has finished third or better in five of his six starts this term which includes that win latest.

Fifth in this race twelve months ago, run down late having got to the front inside the last furlong, he has posted several solid runs this campaign which include near misses in the Victoria Cup here, and at Ayr two runs ago behind Waarif prior to beating Greenside by a half-length last time out.

The front pair had pulled almost four lengths clear of the remainder, and he could prove equal to the task of defying his penalty which puts him on a career-high mark. However, his form figures in the mud read 113551, and drawn high again he ought to post another bold run as he bids to follow up that success last time out with Ben Curtis - who has a good record on David Barron’s charge - again in the saddle.


ITV RACING TIPS SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER - 2019 QIPCO CHAMPIONS DAY RACE-BY-RACE TIPS


1:35 Ascot - HELLO YOUMZAIN (11/2, Ladbrokes)

2:10 Ascot - WITHHOLD (12/1, Unibet, each-way)

2:45 Ascot - STAR CATCHER (13/8, William Hill)

3:2 Ascot - THE REVENANT (11/4, Bet365)

4:00 Ascot - CORONET (4/1, Unibet)

4:40 Ascot - KYNREN (8/1, Bet365)


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ITV Racing tips for Saturday: Live TV tips for British Champions day at Ascot

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot where four Group One races go to post on Saturday's live TV coverage.

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