I’d love to see Big Orange take the Long Distance Cup. He’s a well-known horse and almost a crowd-pleaser when he wins. My only, and obvious, concern would be the ground, as it is already soft and we are expecting more rain.
Harry Angel gets my vote in the Sprint. I think he’s such an improving horse and has done so well this year, and that stunning victory at Haydock in the mud makes him the one to beat.
I wouldn’t know much about Bateel, to be honest. But she beat Journey impressively in the Vermeille last time and these are her conditions. She could come out best in the Fillies And Mares.
I think the QEII is going to be a very competitive race, but Ribchester is the obvious first pick for me. But Beat The Bank won nicely enough last time, and I think Churchill, who didn’t get any run in the Irish Champion Stakes last time, is better at this mile trip.
It’s Cracksman for me in Champion Stakes, as I don’t think stepping down in trip will be a problem for him in this ground. He’s always a strong-traveller and will be ridden handy. So I expect him to do what he has been doing of late, and that is to prove too good for the opposition.
I have my ride in the last:
All his recent form has come over a lot further than the mile here – indeed, his York win in August came over an extended 1m2f – so let’s hope that this race is very strongly-run and his stamina is brought into play late. But he does have form over this trip, and in fact he wasn’t beaten far at all when sixth in the Lincoln earlier this season. He ran well enough in the Cambridgeshire last time but I suppose his form chance rests on his York win. And it worked out very well, as placed horses Dark Red and Brorocco have won since. But the trip is an obvious worry, though the soft ground will make it testing, I suppose. And he does have form with cut.
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