A high class afternoon of racing is in store on British Champions Day with four Group 1 races on the card, and Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore has rides in all six contests...
"Of course, she also comes here after a great success in the Irish Champion last time, where she beat Ghaiyyath, with the Arc winner Sottsass back in fourth, and we know she handles soft ground."
- Ryan Moore on Magical
Has the middle-distance class if faring well up in trip
13:20 - Sovereign
We all know that Stradivarius is the one to beat in here, and he will probably win if running up to the form of his wide-margin success in the Gold Cup here in the summer. But hopefully he is vulnerable after his outing in the Arc, and we have three fair shots at him if he doesn't run to his best.
Sovereign and Broome have the more obvious form claims at their best, but Dawn Patrol is clearly a 3yo on the up. He finished third in the Irish Derby back in June and he proved his effectiveness over this trip when beating a progressive sort at the Curragh last time.
I ride Sovereign though, and I would like to think he is better than he showed behind Search For a Song in the Irish St Leger last time. Obviously, his stand-out effort is his Irish Derby win last year but he ran as well as could be expected in the King George in July and it will be interesting to see how he fares on his first attempt at 2m. He certainly has the middle-distance class to take a hand.
Has class to win a Group 1 and strong each-way claims here
1355 - Lope Y Fernandez
Obviously, he was set to run in the Foret over 7f before we had the feed problem, but 6f on soft ground on a stiff track like Ascot will be fine for him. Other than that what I said about him ahead of the France run stands. He was a little disappointing on the face it at Haydock last time but he didn't have a smooth preparation going into the race, so I thought he ran okay in the circumstances. His earlier Group 1 efforts behind Pinatubo and Space Blues at Deauville - not ideally positioned on either occasion - give him decent form claims, and I always thought he would handle softer ground.
He has the class to win a Group 1, and he also has good course form, having finished second to Pinatubo in the Chesham here last season. And his modest run in the Commonwealth Cup can be excused as it came too quick after his Irish 2,000 Guineas third. Dream Of Dreams is obviously the one to beat in his current form but we have a strong each-way chance against him, I think.
Better than recent form and another with place claims
14:30 - Passion
This is a very open race, and there is little between a few of these on official ratings. This is underlined by the fact that Dame Malliot, Laburnum, Wonderful Tonight and Even So all finished on top of each other behind two very smart fillies in Tarnawa and Raabihah in the Vermeille last time. You can argue a case for any of that re-opposing quartet here, and our filly Larburnum is definitely heading in the right direction after what was probably a career best in that Longchamp race.
We also run Passion, who has a lot to find on her run behind Wonderful Tonight in the Prix Royallieu last time. But she is better than that, and her Naas defeat of Wednesday's Bath winner Traisha gives her each-way claims. Of the others, I think Mehdaayih could go well if at her best, though we haven't seen her since June.
Pier the one to beat by my horse loves it here
15:05 - Circus Maximus
He wasn't at his best when third in the Moulin, a race he won in 2019, last time but he met two very good horses there anyway. And he didn't enjoy the very deep ground when third to Palace Pier in the Marois previously. The winner there will clearly be very hard to beat here if running up to that level of form - he looks a top-class miler - but my horse clearly loves it at Ascot, and is unbeaten in his two starts here, both in Group 1s, as he loves a stiff mile.
The ground here will hopefully be fine for him, as it is certainly is not set to be as bad as it was in Deauville, and he could be the one best placed to take advantage if Palace Pier underperforms, though of course last year's runner-up The Revenant has to be respected after his comeback win.
We're the one to beat but this is a superb race
15:40 - Magical
This looks a better race than it was last year, when she beat Addeybb by ¾ length, so she will need to be on her A-game. But, then again, she pretty much always is and I thought she was more dominant than the winning margin suggested last season and, like Circus Maximus, she has a great record at Ascot, too.
Of course, she also comes here after a great success in the Irish Champion last time, where she beat Ghaiyyath, with the Arc winner Sottsass back in fourth, and we know she handles soft ground. She is probably the one to beat, but this is clearly a very deep contest.
We also have the Derby winner Serpentine and the two-time Group 1 scorer Japan in the race, as well the ultra-impressive Prince Of Wales' winner Lord North and Prix Dollar victor Skalleti - I can see Skalleti, who also beat Sottsass in the summer, going well - and I haven't even touched upon the 3yo Mishriff, who has clearly looked a very exciting colt in his three unbeaten starts this season, including the French Derby.
Very competitive handicap but ours has more improvement to come
16:15 - Keats
This is quite obviously a very competitive handicap and you can make a case for all of these in one way or another. But Keats is a colt going forward, following up his second to last week's Newmarket winner Lady Wannabe when winning a Listed race at Cork last time. A 6lb penalty for that success does not make his job any easier here - in fact, he faces a stiff task on the bare form - but hopefully he has plenty more improvement in him. Looking at his record, I suppose you have to say the ground could be an issue, but we will see.