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Champion Stakes - Form Comments

16/10/2015

Champion Stakes – Form Comments

G1 – 2000m – Turf

1

Air Pilot

Has only raced three times this season but all starts have been at a similarly good level. That includes when looking the likely winner of a G2 over a similar distance to this at Longchamp earlier in the month, edging to his right and just losing the battle in the closing stages. May not be quite good enough, but he invariably gives it his best.

2

Fascinating Rock

A four-times G3 winner and also came close to G1 glory when his late surge only just failed at the Curragh in May, an excellent performance considering the ground was quicker than ideal. He comes here fresh off a tidy win at Leopardstown, accelerating immediately once his jockey asked him. He deserves a crack at this big prize.

3

Lightning Spear

Won his first four starts, three of them in handicap company. He has subsequently proved himself well up to trying Group race company with three good efforts though his challenge fizzled out late on when favourite for a G2 over 1600m at Leopardstown last month. His pedigree suggests that this longer distance may be OK.

4

Maverick Wave

Likes to race prominently, tactics that helped him win a G3 at Chester back in May. However he was beaten a long way on his only subsequent outing, at Arlington in Chicago and it is probable he is in here as a pacemaker for Jack Hobbs.

5

The Corsican

Two of his five career wins were in handicap company, but his performances have improved race by race despite having a poor trip on several occasions and he has now clearly proved himself in Group company, showing winning acceleration against some high class rivals in a G3 at Newbury last time. That was over further than this, but his trainer thinks he is even better over this slightly shorter journey.

6

Tullius

A tough seven-year-old who ran a close fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over 1600m on this day last year. He is equally at home over this sort of distance as he showed when producing a strong finish to win a G2 at York in July. Softish ground is ideal but he's probably not quite good enough for G1 glory.

7

Vadamos

Has improved since moving to France's leading stable, winning his last two starts easily. The latest of those wins came when demolishing his opposition in a G2 at Baden-Baden last month, and when trainer Andre Fabre declared afterwards that he thought Vadamos was a potential champion at this distance the colt immediately became popular for this race.

8

Ribbons

Has won seven of her 13 starts and, although quirky, she rarely runs a poor race though slightly disappointing on her penultimate start when failing to quicken in the straight at Deauville in a G1 contest she had won the previous year. However, back in the winners' slot with a brave G2 victory over this distance at The Curragh last month.

9

Jack Hobbs

Missed the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe - won by stablemate Golden Horn - to wait for this target for which he will certainly start favourite. There have been no disappointments in his six-race career including a runaway 5l victory in the G1 Irish Derby at the Curragh. He warmed up for this with a smooth victory in the all-weather surface at Kempton, and though he comes back in distance, there should be no worries on that score and his brilliant trainer is not worried about an easy turf surface either.

10

Palace Prince

A good class German-trained colt who was runner-up in the German Derby - though well beaten by the winner - and successful in a fair G3 level on his penultimate start. However there didn't seem any obvious excuses when fourth in what looked a weak G1 contest at Baden-Baden last time. It would be a big shock he won this.

11

Racing History

Missed an objective over Arc weekend at Longchamp because of the drying ground, and any extra rain at Ascot would be helpful to this upwardly mobile colt who showed some electric acceleration from off the speed to win a G3 over a similar distance to this at Windsor in August. By far the least exposed in this field, and three-year-olds have a fair record in this event, winning it three times in the past ten years.

12

Sumbal

A lightly-raced colt whose six starts have all come this season including  a 6-length winning romp in a G2 at Saint-Cloud on just his third start, the ground being very soft that day. Forced to make his main rival work hard for a victory in a G3 at Longchamp last month though neither was thought good enough to tackle the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe subsequently. The softer the ground the better.

13

Found

She came close to a G1 victory here at Royal Ascot in June and then looked to be well suited to the move up to 2000m when surging clear in a G2 at the Curragh in August, then possibly unlucky to finish a close second to subsequent Arc winner Golden Horn in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes. Only 5l ninth behind Golden Horn in the Arc itself but she had a poor trip there and jockey Ryan Moore did not give her a hard time.

 

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