|Sat||1:35 Ascot - Speak In Colours||20/1||Ladbrokes|
|Sat||2:10 Ascot - Klassique||25/1||BoyleSports|
|Sat||4:00 Ascot - Coronet||6/1||Black Type|
|Sat||4:40 Ascot - Clon Coulis||12/1||Coral|
1:35 Ascot - Champions Sprint - Speak In Colours
The Group 1 Champions Sprint is a stiff 6f, so I would be looking at horses who have stayed 7f, especially given the expected soft to heavy ground. Despite disappointing in it last season as a three-year-old, the Joseph O’Brien-trained Speak In Colours stands out.
He has run consistently well all season, with form figures of 2414413 including fourth in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over this C&D at Royal Ascot. He also won over course and distance on his second ever start on soft ground, when trained by Marco Botti in 2017.
Since that Royal Ascot run he has won the 6f Group 3 Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh on soft ground, beating soft ground specialist Downforce. But it was the Group 1 Prix de la Foret on Arc day at Paris-Longchamp that persuaded me to select him for this race.
Sent off at 23/1, he made good headway at half-way, and was leading entering the final furlong, but weakened into third late on. That was a very soft 7f, so the drop back to 6f on a similar surface looks to be ideal for Speak In Colours. Currently available at 20/1 with multiple bookmakers, he rates a confident selection to hit the frame in the Champion Sprint.
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2:10 Ascot - Champions Fillies & Mares - Klassique
The betting is dominated by the three-year-olds here, with the likes of Star Catcher, Anapurna, Antonia De Vega and Fleeting all deserving respect. However, I have decided to take a chance on Klassique, who runs for a stable that won this race in 2011 with Dancing Rain.
Since her debut, this daughter of Galileo has never finished out of the top three and now has a record of four wins from 10 runs. She started this season finishing second to subsequent Group 2 winner Enbihaar in a Listed race over 1m4f at Goodwood. That rival has since defeated a field of three-year-olds in the Park Hill Stakes, showing that the older fillies may have an edge over their younger rivals.
Following that second placing, Klassique on the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock on heavy ground, easily defeating odds-on favourite True Self. She showed she relishes cut in the ground and proved it further when third in a Group 2 in Deauville on heavy ground once again.
The four-year-old has taken a break since that run in August and, with no doubts about trip or ground, I feel she is interesting at 25/1 to upset the Classic generation.
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4:00 Ascot - Champion Stakes - Coronet
It is an interesting decision to run Coronet in the Group 1 Champion Stakes this year, rather than the Fillies & Mares race that she has contested for the previous two seasons.
She has been second and third in that race, and won the 2017 Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. She also won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud this June, but all those performances have come over 1m4f.
Where connections may have made the decision is back in France at Deauville last time out, when the five-year-old was dropped back to 1m2f for the first time winning the Group 2 Middleton Stakes in May 2018. She won the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet, relishing that distance on the heavy ground.
While she has 7lbs to find with Magical on ratings, that rival has had a busy season and a hard race in the Arc two weeks ago. Coronet carries 3lbs less than Addeybb, despite being rated 1lbs higher, so should have the beating of him, and looks a rock solid selection in a race that appears to lack strength in depth. At 6/1 she looks a fantastic bet.
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4:40 Ascot - Balmoral Handicap - Clon Coulis
Clon Coulis has run with great credit on her two starts over C&D, with a victory in the listed Valiant Stakes in 2018, before an agonising nose defeat in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot this season. That effort in the Royal Hunt Cup came off when rated 99 on soft ground, and she has now dropped back down to the same mark, having disappointed on faster ground since.
It wouldn’t surprise me if this was the aim all season since Royal Ascot, and she should have her ideal conditions on the straight mile, with soft to heavy ground forecast. Regular rider and Ascot specialist Jamie Spencer is on board so she looks a potential gamble at 12/1.
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