Kevin Blake's Saturday Racing Tips: Two each-way plays on British Champions Day

Betfair Tipster Kevin Blake
Kevin Blake has two each-way tips for British Champions Day

British Champions Day at Ascot brings the curtain down on another fantastic Flat season, and Kevin Blake has two each-way tips to consider in the QEII and Champion Stakes...

"He is clearly a very talented horse as he showed when bolting up a couple of times in Group 3 company earlier this season and only just losing out by a head to Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup at Epsom."

Back Al Aasy each-way 15:50 Ascot @ 20/1

It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Frankel lit up the very first British Champions Day in 2011 by producing an electrifying performance in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. We'll be waiting a long time to see one to rival his talent, but even without him, British Champions Day has become well established as a focus point in the international racing calendar.

This year's meeting will be run on no-excuses ground and has attracted a notably strong book of runners to compete for the huge levels of prize money on offer. With a bit of luck, I'll hopefully be able to find a big-priced winner amongst them.

Last year's winner can go close in QEII

The first race of interest is the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (15:10).

The market is understandably dominated by Palace Pier and Baaeed and they may well fight out the finish, but with both of them likely to be ridden with patience, it isn't difficult to envisage a situation whereby their jockeys spend more time watching each other than the leaders, so an opportunity may be presented to one of the leading bunch to seize the initiative.

The one I have in mind to play that role is The Revenant. The six-year-old has been there and done it in the most literal sense, finishing second in this race in 2019 prior to winning it last season.

For the last three years, The Revenant has prepared for this race by running in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Paris-Longchamp, and while this year was the first one that he didn't win that race, he arguably put up his best performance of the lot by finishing a never-nearer second to Real World a fortnight ago.

Whether it was overconfidence from Olivier Peslier or him not wanting to give The Revenant an overly-hard race, one got the distinct impression that the pair would have won had Peslier asked for full effort earlier than he did. As it was, he flew home to only be beaten by a short-neck.

The Revenant can be expected to sharpen up for that run and he is selected in the hope that he is given a more forward ride as he was when winning the race last year. He is a strong stayer at the trip and if the big two end up giving up first run to him, The Revenant might take a fair bit of pegging back.

Outsider Al Aasy can go very well in Champion Stakes

The other race I'm focusing on is the QIPCO Champion Stakes (15:50).

The rematch between Mishriff and Adayar really is a fascinating one, but I've ended up filing it into the "too hard" folder and have decided to swing for the fences with one at a much bigger price that is more likely to generate laughter than intrigue!

The one I like at the prices is the William Haggas-trained Al Aasy. Yep, that one. I saw him labelled as the Harchibald of the Flat, a bridle merchant and a gutless wonder amongst other even more colourful and unflattering monikers following his recent defeats at short odds where he promised plenty and didn't deliver nearly enough.

However, I'm prepared to take a chance on him at a big price. He is clearly a very talented horse as he showed when bolting up a couple of times in Group 3 company earlier this season and only just losing out by a head to Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

He attracted particular ire for his latest defeat in the Legacy Cup Stakes at Newbury which was his first start after being gelded. However, his connections felt that he needed the run and I'm inclined to buy into that view. More importantly, I've long thought that a drop to a shorter trip was just what he wanted and this course and distance may well prove to be ideal for him.

He is likely to be completely overlooked in the market and with Jim Crowley being under zero pressure on him, I hope he rides him with loads of patience and creeps into the race late on. I suspect he will surprise people with how well he runs.

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