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2021 Champions Day Tips - Through the card tips at Ascot

  • British Champions Day takes place at Ascot on Saturday 16th October
  • All six races will be shown live on ITV Racing
  • Four Group One feature on a stellar card
  • Snowfall, Alcohol Free and Adayar feature amongst our tips
Adayar beating Mishriff in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July. (Getty)
Jon Vine 14 Oct 2021
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One of the best cards in the British flat racing season takes place on Saturday, as Ascot racecourse hosts British Champions Day 2021.

Four Group Ones will be handed out on Saturday, along with over £4m in prize money across the card. All six Champions Day races will be shown live on the ITV main channel, so let's jump straight into our ITV Racing tips!
    Table Of Contents
  • 2021 British Champions Day Card
  • Race 1 - Long Distance Cup Tips
  • Race 2 - Champions Sprint Stakes Tips
  • Race 3 - Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Tips
  • Race 4 - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Tips
  • Race 5 - Champion Stakes Tips
  • Race 6 - Balmoral Handicap Tips
  • 2021 British Champions Day Live Stream

2021 British Champions Day Card

1:25pm British Champions Long Distance Cup Group 2 2m
2:00pm British Champions Sprint Stakes Group 1 6f
2:35pm Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes Group 1 1m4f
3:10pm Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Group 1 1m
3:50pm Champions Stakes Group 1 1m2f
4:30pm Balmoral Handicap Class 2 1m

Race 1 - Long Distance Cup Tips

Trueshan has established himself as the top-dog in the staying division this term, winning the Goodwood Cup and the Prix du Cadran on his most recent start. Alan King's charge does, however, have a clear preference for very soft ground. Unusually for this time of year, the ground is currently good-to-soft at Ascot and the weather forecast is mostly dry, so I'm not sure the ground on Saturday is really going to suit the favourite.

The value bet here is STRADIVARIUS, who was beaten by Trueshan last time out in France. I was surprised John Gosden decided to run his seven-year-old on such heavy ground, and I thought Stradivarius ran a blinder to stay with Trueshan for as long as he did.

Since losing in the Ascot Gold Cup, where Frankie Dettori got his tactics horribly wrong, Stradivarius has bounced back to form with wins in the Lonsdale and Doncaster Cups. That run in the Cadran was certainly a step in the right direction and, with the ground as good as it is, I'll be siding with Stradivarius on Saturday.

Race 2 - Champions Sprint Stakes Tips

Gustavus Weston E/W2:00pm Ascot Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) 6fGET 22/1 HERE
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I highlighted GUSTAVUS WESTON as a dangerous outsider to back in this wide-open race earlier in the week, and I'm going to stick with my ante-post selection. 

Joseph Murphy has switched his five-year-old between five, six and seven furlongs this season, a tactic which has produced a mixed range of results. However, on his two starts over six furlongs, Gustavus Weston won a Group Two on heavy ground at the Curragh, before carrying a penalty to victory in a Group Three in August, beating future Abbaye winner A Case Of You in the process.

This powerful traveller should be well-suited by the sprint track at Ascot. Gustavus Weston is proven on all kinds of ground and he has the ability to make his presence felt.

Race 3 - Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Tips

The second selection in my Champions Day long shots article was Invite, when Andrew Balding's filly sat at 10/1 in the betting. Sadly, after Love and Free Wind came out, John Egan's mount has been cut into 11/2 third-favouritism and offers little value from an each-way standpoint.

It's now very difficult to see beyond SNOWFALL, despite Aidan O'Brien's filly suffering defeats in the Prix Vermeille and the Arc. Snowfall remains ten pounds clear of her closest rival in the weights and three-year-olds boast a fantastic recent record in this Group One. 5/6 on a triple Oaks winner beating a far inferior field isn't a terrible price.

alcohol free
Oisin Murphy celebrates on board Alcohol Free after winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascoy. (Getty)

Race 4 - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Tips

Palace Pier and Baaeed will clash on Saturday, in what promises to be the race of the season. While some may see it as insanity to side against either them, the runner who appeals most for me in the betting is ALCOHOL FREE at an each-way price.

Andrew Balding's filly is a course-and-distance winner, having cruised to victory in the Coronation Stakes earlier in the season. Alcohol Free then saw off the recently retired Poetic Flare in the Sussex Stakes. Oisin Murphy's mount beat Jim Bolger's colt by almost two lengths that day, and Poetic Flare went on to run Palace Pier within a neck when they met in the Jacques le Marois.

Alcohol Free will get three pounds from Baaeed and sits just two pounds adrift of William Haggas' star in the ratings. Palace Pier is rated six pounds higher than Alcohol Free, and he has to give the filly seven pounds at the weights. Balding's star has been freshened up since a respectable run in the Juddmonte International. She really should be a 4/1, 5/1 shot here. 10/1 is the wrong price.

Race 5 - Champion Stakes Tips

While I greatly respect everything Mishriff has done during his stellar career, ADAYAR finished ahead of the favourite when they met in the King George at Ascot earlier in the season, and I fancy Charlie Appleby's three-year-old will have Mishriff's number once again.

I backed the King George and Epsom Derby winner to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe earlier this month. When the ground turned heavy, Adayar drifted out to almost 4/1 in the betting. William Buick's mount was also forced to make the running for the first time at Longchamp and, despite a valiant effort, faded late on and eventually finished fourth.

After the Arc, Appleby was already looking to 2022 with Adayar, stating his star would stay in training as a four-year-old, where he would be dropped back to ten furlongs. An outing on Champions Day wasn't mentioned at all. So, to see Adayar entered up here must mean he's come out of the Arc extremely well and the team must really fancy his chances.

Race 6 - Balmoral Handicap Tips

Escobar E/W4:30pm Ascot Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco) (Class 2) 1mGET 20/1 HERE
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Regular readers of mine will know I've backed ESCOBAR a number of times this season, and I can't desert David O'Meara's seven-year-old as he returns to the scene of his greatest success.

After a consistent season filled with lots of placed efforts, Adam Kirby rode Escobar to victory in this handicap two years ago. O'Meara's star hasn't won in 23 starts since then, but he did spend the majority of last season running in high-profile pattern races, including the Queen Anne and the QEII at this meeting last year.

This season, Escobar has been beaten less than a length in the Victoria Cup, a £26k handicap at Goodwood and the Listed Fortune Stakes at Sandown. Things didn't go to plan last time out in the Challenge Cup, where Escobar was very slowly away and pulled hard throughout, but that defeat does mean he'll return to the Balmoral carrying the exact same rating of 105 that he won off in 2019. Despite what could be a tricky drawn in stall two, he's an excellent each-way bet. 

2021 British Champions Day Live Stream

Want to watch every race from Ascot on Saturday via your mobile or tablet? You'll want to check out our Champions Day Live Streaming page.

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