The curtain comes down today on a fine flat season of racing and there is no better way to end the season with Champions Day where some of the best performers take one last stand and go head to head in the hope to finish on a high.
Conditions will be testing underfoot, although not as testing as first feared as the track has been drying out slowly over the past few days with no recent rain.  It will be a battle of wills, true guts and determination to get their head over the line first to claim The Champions Day glory.
So as the big guns take to the track one last time before their winter break, we find some runners looking to bounce back to form with a point to prove…..and some who have stamped their authority on their division and look to continue their recent fine work.
Questions will be answered but some may still be left scratching their heads after a long season of what could have been…..and that’s the beauty of Champions day and the beauty of racing!!

Today’s forecast… Mostly Cloudy

Temperature… 5.9° – 12.5°

Going report…  Soft, Heavy in places


….Today’s Selections…

13:20 Ascot 17 Oct 

Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup

Group 2 | Class 1 | 3YO plus

Winner £170,130

1m 7f 209y

The question that will be on everyone’s mind here is will STRADIVARIUS of had enough time from his exertions in the Arc 13 days ago? Finishing midfield things really didn’t go to plan with that run. Now back at a track he loves & where at the Royal Ascot, he hacked up leaving all in his wake and a repeat of that is well within his grasp as the stand out entry here. There are many here setting out today to try the 2m trip and that could pose a threat to STRADIVARIUS, so I am keen to take him on today with SEARCH FOR A SONG who rates the main danger after winning the Irish St Leger, placed here by Dermot Weld this filly looks an interesting contender.

Selection…  SEARCH FOR A SONG e/w 6/1

Bookmakers paying 3 places


13:55 Ascot 17 Oct 

Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes

Group 1 | Class 1 | 3YO plus

Winner £198,485


Nowadays DREAM OF DREAMS seems a completely different prospect, in his last two runs under the guidance of champion jockey Oisin Murphy the penny has finally dropped and we are seeing what we all thought he could be capable of. With wins on soft ground, the conditions should not pose a threat if keeping on the soft side. But one that really catches the eye is STARMAN, unbeaten in three starts his limit does not look like it has been reached by a long way, there is plenty more to come from this one, with the recent form being well franked this week by Dakota Gold.
Selection… STARMAN e/w 10/1
Bookmakers paying 5 places

14:30 Ascot 17 Oct

Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes

Group 1 | Class 1 | 3YO plus

Winner £198,485

1m 3f 211y

An open looking contest for the fillies and mare here, the stand out protagonists here look to be the Ed Vaughan trained DAME MALLIOT who is a dual Group 2 winner who comes in on the back of strong form and Ed Vaughan will be looking to go out on a high as he closes down his training operation at the end of the season. The progressive WONDERFUL TONIGHT holds strong claims here after winning on Arc weekend in the Prix De Royallieu.
However a chance is taken on MEHDAAYIH, who has only had the one run this season so it is interesting that John Gosden pitches her in here and when she fires, she fires well.
Selection… MEHDAAYIH e/w 12/1
Bookmakers paying 4 places

15:05 Ascot 17 Oct

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Group 1 | Sponsored By Qipco | Class 1 | 3YO plus

Winner £368,615

1m (Str)

No doubt that PALACE PIER will be the warm order on the day and everyone’s banker of the meeting. Gone from strength to strength this term and unbeaten in five career starts he looks sure to progress even more today and put his rivals to sleep. Should the ground get deep that will not hold any problems to this colt after winning in style last time out in bottomless conditions at Deauville.
Selection… PALACE PIER 8/11
Bookmakers paying 3 places

15:40 Ascot 17 Oct

Qipco Champion Stakes

Group 1 | Class 1 | 3YO plus

Winner £425,325

1m 1f 212y

This looks an absolute cracker of a race, where MAGICAL and MISHFRIFF will face off. Magical is an ultra-consistent mare who has never shied away from a challenge, taking on the likes of Enable and Ghaiyyath and getting the better of the latter mentioned last time out. Another cannot be ruled out completely is ADDEYEB who has made waves both home and aboard recently and will relish any cut in the ground looking to add to previous course and distance wins. But the stand out is MISHRIFFwho’s last run at Deauville was found boxed in with nowhere to go then showed a blistering turn of foot in heavy conditions to get home in front. There is no doubt this colt trained by John Gosden is turning into a real force and is taken to today to make it four wins in a row and looks primed for yet another huge run.
Selection… MISHRIFF (Nap) 7/2
Bookmakers paying 4 places

16:15 Ascot 17 Oct

Balmoral Handicap

Sponsored By Qipco | Class 2 | 3YO plus

Winner £62,250

1m (Str)

The Balmoral closes the card and the flat season today and tough closing race with many in with a chance in this. The Brian Meehan trained colt RAAEQ by Kingman has looked impressive and very progressive this term, landing a 7f contest here last time out on the softer side of good steps back up to the mile today carrying an extra 6lb for that win. But that penalty looks well shouldered here and this looks well within his grasp to continue his fine form in the hands of Jim Crowley.
Selection… RAAEQ e/w 6/1
Bookmakers paying 6 places
Good Luck!!!