Champion Stakes Tips: Take on Magical with this class act

Champion Stakes Tips: We pick out our best bet for the Group 1 race at Ascot.
Champion Stakes Tips: We pick out our best bet for the Group 1 race at Ascot.

Steve Chambers previews Saturday's Champion Stakes, which sees Magical, Mishriff and Addeybb all line up at Ascot on British Champions Day...

Astonishingly, Aidan O'Brien claimed his first ever victory in the Group 1 Champion Stakes last season when his wondermare Magical stormed to glory, and the classy five-year-old will return to the Berkshire venue on Saturday to try and retain her coveted crown, as the Ballydoyle team opted to let her take her chance in this contest instead of the Fillies & Mares Stakes earlier in the afternoon.

A trio of Group 1 wins this season (Pretty Polly Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Irish Champion Stakes) has shown the fire still burns bright in the belly of Magical, who is now looking to take over the mantle as the premier mare in UK & Irish racing following the retirement of Enable. Having been taken out of a brief retirement following last year's win in the Champion Stakes, Magical has returned to the track in fine fettle, and is arguably in the form of her life, and while the retirement cloud may loom over her once again following Saturday's contest, she will head into the race as the red-hot favourite.

Her only defeat this season came in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, where she was no match for Ghaiyyath, but she will not face a rival in the same calibre as that Godolphin raider here, so she's entitled to be a leading contender for what looks a relatively mediocre renewal of the showpiece event. Having won the 2018 Fillies' & Mares' Stakes on Champions Day, Magical is bidding for a hat-trick of wins at the Flat season finale, and she's certainly one that you can't be seeing finishing out of the first three. However, it's already soft, heavy in places at the track, and if the rain continued she could just be tested to the limits, meaning that at the paltry prices available it could be worth taking her on with a value alternative.

John Gosden saddled Cracksman to victory in this race in 2017 and 2018 and the master trainer will unleash a dual-pronged attack in the shape of Mishriff and Lord North, who could both play a primary role if producing their best form. The former has been a hugely progressive colt this term and is bidding to become the third three-year-old to win this contest in the last five years. 

Particularly impressive when winning a listed event at Newmarket in June, Mishriff then rocketed into the limelight with a shock win in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, while he showed that wasn't a fluke when winning a Group 2 at Deauville in August. That latter success came in heavy going, so he should have no problems with the underfoot conditions at Ascot. While the three-year-old contenders get a significant weight pull from their older rivals, Mishriff is taking on his elders for the first time in his career, and coming up against most experienced and top-class all-aged winners, he may just struggle to dominate like he has in recent times.

On the contrary, Lord North has excelled since venturing out of the three-year-old scene, and the four-year-old, who was a gallant second in last year's Balmoral Handicap, will look to sparkle on Champions Day once again at a track he's excelled at before. His season highlight came at Royal Ascot when he bounded to a three and three quarter length victory over Addeybb in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, but he was last seen being comfortably beaten by Magical in the Juddmonte, and it's hard to see him turning that form around here. While they add depth to the race, both Gosden runners have doubts hanging over them, and neither make much appeal.

While the Gosden duo may find it hard to down Magical, one interesting contender a little further down the betting is Addeybb, who was a gallant runner-up behind Magical in the 2019 Champion Stakes, and will be eager to reverse the form with the Ballydoyle hotpot. A dual Group 1 winner in Australia earlier this year, the William Haggas-trained six-year-old has continued his fine form on British soil and his first start this season saw him finish second to Lord North in the aforementioned Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

Dropped significantly in grade for his second start this season, Addeybb comfortably dispatched of Lord Glitters in the listed Doonside Cup at Ayr in mid-September, and that will have him tuned up for Saturday's test. While getting the better of Magical will be a tough ask, last season he really threw it down to the multiple Group 1 winner, but was just outclassed. However, if there's testing conditions for Saturday's contest then Addeybb could well get a bit closer to the hotpot, and having shown to be in the form of his life this season then Haggas' charge could well just get his head in front this time, and at the prices he makes a lot more appeal, and is the solid each-way option.

O'Brien will not only saddle Magical, but shock Derby winner Serpentine will take his chance, but it's unlikely he will be able to adopt the same front-running tactics here over a shorter trip, while he has only recently run a fine fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, so it's hard to see him backing that up. Japan is another eye-catching Ballydoyle runner, but the former Group 1 winner is a shadow of his former self and is hard to fancy.

French raider Skaletti comes into the race on the back of a Group 3 and Group 2 win in France, but this is another step up, and he could well find one too good, while Royal Ascot winner Pyledriver drops back in trip having finished third in the St Leger last month, and this trip could prove a little short in a race that can see Magical and Addeybb fight out the finish again, but the latter can prevail this time around.

Selection:

Champion Stakes, Ascot, Saturday 17th October - back Addeybb at 8/1

Champion Stakes
Addeybb silk

Addeybb

won
2021 Cheltenham Festival
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 get £30 in Free Bets
#AD New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+BeGambleAware.org. T&Cs apply.
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
Newcastle
16:10
1stDe Bruyne
2ndMacho Mania
3rdTilt At Windmills
Exeter
15:45
1stInthewaterside
2ndTake No Chances
3rdHe's My Shadow
Newcastle
15:38
1stFirst Of May
2ndProject Black
3rdAll White Mate
View All Today's Results