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Champions Day - Ascot 2022

It has been a long while since I posted some selections or thoughts on racing as mentioned in my reflections post this morning, it has been a very busy time with projects & family. But here we are at the end of season finale for the UK flat season. 1 Group 2, 4 group 1s and a decent class 2 Balmoral Handicap to finish off the card. Ground conditions are Good to Soft, but a couple of blustery showers good mean more soft than good. Looking at the going stick report, very similar to last year, but significantly better than the last 2 seasons' renewals, where it was more jump season material. So we kick off with the stayers (13.25) and I am looking forward to this race, haven't said that too much this season. Trueshan is the highest-rated horse off an OR of 123, but he is 6yo and the last 2 runs and a mix of indifferent rides and conditions possibly have not suited. But he has been beaten by horses off lower marks, so it is possible he has regressed a little and younger horses improving, meant he has not won. So on that, I think he is too short in the betting. I really like Eldar Eldarov the HRR Pro Ratings give him a superb chance, and I would side with him from the front 2 in the market, but from a trading angle I would definitely put the cover bets on Coltrane & Quickthorn, I think these 2 given form this year, they could be both overpriced. Waterville could be overpriced but I just can't see him improving further in this grade and he would be the one I would be most against of the top 4/5 in the market. Onto the sprinters (14.00) generally this is the one race that has thrown up the biggest shocks, but this year, I think the winner comes from the top 4 in the market. Kinross based on form, and a stiff 6f at Ascot in these conditions will be very tough to beat. He was superb at Longchamp and that is the one question mark, has this come too quick after that race? Creative Force is a solid performer and cannot be discounted, the other horse who I was impressed with the last run was Rohaan, a good win in a Group 3 over C&D and followed up a very good 3rd at Haydock in a Group 1. One at a bigger who ran poorly last time out is Naval Crown very little to choose between him and Creative Force at Ascot and a return here could see him run a big race at a decent price. Fillies & Mares rock up over 1m4f in the (14.40) This race is a tough one to call but on the HRR Pro ratings, Eternal Pearl is very strong and will be tough to beat. I also do like Sea La Rosa & Sweet Lady so do not discount those at bigger prices, there could be some each-way value there. (15:20) sees the milers take to the track, so No Baaeed, Palace Pier, however, The Revnant returns and he has been trending this year and this appears to have been his target and this will be as near perfect for him as it gets, so I expect a big run. Inspiral I am not so sure about, obviously, she is a quality operator and gets the allowance, but just at the price I am not inspired, pun intended. Modern Games similarly I don't think the Ascot mile will suit, very strong on the ratings, however. Jadoomi is my favoured selection here at the prices, he is trending upwards and had a really impressive Group 2 win in Ireland last time out, and that was for 3 in a row, conditions will suit and he could just be the horse improving most and on recent form could upset a couple of the more favoured horses. Onto the big one and the Champions Stakes (16.00) although this is likely to be a Champions farewell procession for Baaeed he is not backable due to the price. Now this race has had the tendency to throw up the odd surprise winner, it would be a huge surprise this year, it must be said, Adayer is no mug, but bombed in this last year, but did look back to some of his best last time out, in what was effectively a training run. The EW play for me is The Bay Bridge, has some solid form, doesn't mind Ascot and softer conditions and could go pretty well. Last up is the Balmoral Handicap (16.40) I will keep this short and my play in this wide-open handicap will be Sweet Believer EW. Good Luck James HRR

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