YOU BET: Wiltshire chance Dick Turpin may play second fiddle at Ascot (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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YOU BET: Wiltshire chance Dick Turpin may play second fiddle at Ascot
A HUGE crowd is expected for Champions’ Day at Ascot on Saturday.
BBC cameras will screen the first five races on the Qipco-sponsored card, including the feature – the Queeen Elizabeth Stakes where wonder horse Frankel will be odds-on to keep his unbeaten record.
Trainer Sir Henry Cecil insists the race is no formality for his three year old colt and is not too keen for his charge to make the running, as he did when winning the 2,000 Guineas.
Cecil said: “That was quite an ordeal at Newmarket and I think for the horse, now he is relaxed and settled it would be hard on him.
“What we don’t want to do is crawl and turn it into a sprint. It’s a question of whether I try to out sprint them or outstay them I will make my mind up on the day.’’ Waiting in the wings will be the French-trained filly Immortal Verse and the Marco Botti-trained Excelebration.
Collingbourne trainer Richard Hannon runs Dick Turpin – but it would be a huge surprise if he could rob Frankel.
The meeting opens with the Group Three Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup run over two miles that has attracted some top class performers including the Ballydoyle-trained Fame and Glory.
However the column’s selection is the John Dunlop-trained Times Up.
The Group Two Champions Sprint Stakes, would look to be a competitive affair, with local interest provided by the Beckhampton trained Genki and Libranno, representing the Hannon yard.
Favourite and the selection is the James Fanshawe-trained Deacon Blues, ridden by Johnnie Murtagh.
The Group Two Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes will have backers scratching their heads with most of the runners in with a shout, a tentative selection being the Roger Varian-trained Ferdoos, the mount of Neil Callan.
The Group One Qipco Champion Stakes features the Cecil duo of Midday, the mount of Tom Queally and Twice Over, ridden by Ian Mongan. Both look set to figure, with perhaps Midday having the edge.
The star-studded afternoon finishes with the Qipco Future Stars Apprentice Handicap run over seven furlongs, where Harry Bentley could have an each-way chance on Valencha.
Other flat meetings are at Catterick and Wolverhampton under lights where Hi Dancer could be the one to be on.
Jumpers are catered for at Cheltenham and Kelso while on Sunday, Bath stages its final flat meeting of the season.