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The Mandarin’s Ascot Champions Day Racecard for 21st October 2023

The Mandarin’s Ascot Champions Day Racecard for Saturday 21st October 2023

Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) 1.15
A brilliant opener in store as Trueshan goes for his fourth win in this race. It promises to be a top-class renewal with last season’s outstanding stayer Kyprios back in action after just the one start this term, when trying to regain his Irish St Leger crown. He looked in need of that run, so if back to his best could deliver for the backers of this likely favourite, while Andrew Balding’s Coltrane always seems to be on the premises in these Cup races. Throw in last year’s third, Trawlerman, and the progressive Sweet William from the Gosdens’ yard, and it looks one hot race. Trueshan gets the vote though in the final appraisal, as it’s horses for courses here in the bid for the four-timer, with conditions to suit and Hollie Doyle up top

Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) 1.50
Kinross (nap)
In what is likely to be an emotional day for Frankie Dettori, it would be fitting if he could go home with just one more Group One honour. He’s often at his best on this Berkshire track, and Kinross may be his best chance of the day. Ralph Beckett’s Kingman gelding is as good as ever this season, winning a brace of Group 2’s at Goodwood and York before just failing to reel in Kelina in the Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend. He might have got there too, given a clearer passage in that Group One contest, but can make amends with a win here. Charlie Fellowes Vadream and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Mill Stream are both classy sorts, with William Haggas’s Sense Of Duty also in the reckoning, but Kinross can give Frankie the send off he deserves

Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) 2.25
Jackie Oh (nb)
Last seen in a thrilling finish in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera against the brilliant double French-Classic winning Blue Rose Sen, Jackie Oh must have a great chance. The soft ground won’t bother this Galileo filly who gets a bit of weight from some of the principals here, and her strong finish in the Prix de l’Opera suggests she’s got this trip in her range. Free Wind needs to bounce back from an underwhelming run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, so Roger Charlton’s Time Lock and Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve rate the main dangers, but three-year-olds do well in this race so Jackie Oh gets the nudge

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1) 3.05
This year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is just about as good a race on paper as you could wish for, and it will come down to who handles this going the best. Obviously, Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington is given any amount of respect, having been the outstanding Classic colt this season, only failing to score once in seven starts, and returns from a freshen-up after his last run in the Juddmonte International. Nashwa must enter calculations on ground this deep, and she has plenty of toe at this trip with the excellent Hollie Doyle in charge, while French raider, the front-running Big Rock will make them all work for this Group One prize, and Chaldean is a 2,000 Guineas winner so also makes the shortlist. However, Irish raider Tahiyra is picking up Group Ones for fun this year, including the Coronation Stakes here back in June, so gets our vote in a classy line-up

Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1) 3.45
Via Sistina
In yet another top-class Group 1 on Champions day, Via Sistina can score under the excellent Oisin Murphy. Last seen just losing out by a nose in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville, this trip on deep ground should be just right, so the Fastnet Rock mare is preferred to the smart pair of Mostahdaf and King Of Steel, who both need to prove themselves on this going. Bay Bridge won this race last year so is sure to be well-prepped by Sir Michael Stoute, while French raider Horizon Dore has had a terrific season, but might be another that finds the going too deep. Via Sistina stormed home in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket earlier this season, and was only just beaten in the Prix Jean Romanet, so looks the one to follow

Balmoral Handicap 4.25
Harry Eustace’s colt has already scored twice over this course and distance this season, so gets the tick in the bid for the hat-trick. The first of those was on soft ground, so conditions here are no concern, and Hayley Turner returns for the trip after failing to strike in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood. Ralph Beckett’s Sonny Liston is always a threat in these big handicaps, while course winner Baradar is on a hat-trick if seeing out the extra furlong. Hayley Turner knows how to get the job done though, so has to top the shortlist from a decent draw in Stall 2

The Mandarin

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