ITV7 Racing Tips: Side with Mishriff in the feature

Mishriff will be hoping to cap off an excellent campaign in the Champion Stakes.
Mishriff will be hoping to cap off an excellent campaign in the Champion Stakes.

Nick Seddon takes a look at Saturday's televised action at Ascot - plus two races from Leopardstown - and tries to crack the ITV7...

Ascot 13:20 - Champions Long Distance Cup

Our opening televised race isn’t included in this week’s ITV7, though it’s worth taking a look at as a Group 2 contest for the stayers. It’s no surprise to see Stradivarius trading at a short price considering his dominance in this division over the past few years, though he arrives here on the back of two defeats over a mile and a half in Paris, and had a tough race in the Arc a fortnight ago. He isn’t suited by the testing going we’ll see here, and bearing in mind he’s been beaten twice as a short-priced favourite in this race in the past, it looks worth taking him on with the filly Search For A Song. She was hugely progressive as a three-year-old, and got back on track when winning the Irish St Leger for the second year running at the Curragh last month, staying on really well to the line. The form of that is strong for this level, and with the favourite likely to falter in less than ideal conditions, she gets the vote to take advantage. 

Long Distance Cup
Search For A Song silk

Search For A Song


Ascot 13:55 - Champions Sprint Stakes

This race is no stranger to an upset, and the last two winners have returned home at starting prices of 33/1 and 28/1 respectively, but it looks worth siding with the favourite Dream Of Dreams to break that particular pattern. 

Dream Of Dreams has returned an improved model this year, and built on a fine effort  to finish second on reappearance in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes by winning his last two starts in emphatic fashion, including last month’s Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock. That win came in similar conditions, and setting the standard here on the back of his most recent run, he will be difficult to beat. 

Meanwhile, it also looks worth siding with Happy Power each-way at a double-figure price. King Power caused a 33/1 shock in this last year with Donjuan Triumphant, and although he’s his owner’s second string here behind Art Power, he arrives here in fine form having won his last three starts - most recently when a convincing winner of the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket last week. This will be his first start over six furlongs since his two-year-old days, but he does have winning form over this trip and is suited by the going. He wouldn’t have too much to find on the back of his most recent run, and looks worth chancing to hit the frame at the very least. 

Champions Sprint Stakes
Dream Of Dreams silk

Dream Of Dreams

Champions Sprint
Happy Power silk

Happy Power (EW)


Leopardstown 14:25 -  Knockaire Stakes

We divert away from Ascot for the second race on the ITV7 permutation, which is a listed race at Leopardstown over seven furlongs. It looks worth sticking with Laughifuwant, who built on his excellent effort to win the Irish Cambridgeshire in August by only just being touched off in Group 3 company at Tipperary last time out. He sets a clear standard dropped back to listed level, and is a confident selection to return to winning ways. 

Knockaire Stakes
Laughifuwant silk



Ascot 14:30 - Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes

In an open-looking race, Dame Malliot makes plenty of appeal. She carries the same colours of last year’s winner Star Catcher, and while she hasn’t been quite so prolific as that particular filly so far this year, she’s proven to be a steadily progressive type, placing on both of her starts at this level to date. The form of the Prix Vermeille is looking strong, with the two fillies who finished in front of her going on to run fine races on Arc weekend, and she impressed when winning the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes in really good style prior to that. The ground should hold no fears, and bearing in mind that Dame Malliot looks likely to get things her own way early on pace wise, she looks worth siding with to win this for the second year running for Anthony Oppenheimer. 

Meanwhile, it could also be worth backing Laburnum each-way. She’s been beaten twice by the more-fancied Even So earlier in the campaign, but appeals as a steadily progressive type, and there’s every reason to think that there could be more to come from her yet after a career best effort last time out, on what will be just her fourth start at this trip. The conditions should hold no fears, and she looks an enticing bet at the prices to run into a place. 

Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes
Dame Malliot silk

Dame Malliot

Champions Fillies' and Mares' Stakes
Laburnum silk

Laburnum (EW)


Leopardstown 15:00 - Killavullan Stakes

We head back to Ireland for a Group 3 contest for juveniles over seven furlongs, in which several deserve a second look. Aidan O’Brien has won two of the last three renewals and Ontario demands respect, though he disappointed in listed company at Tipperary last time out and instead it could be worth chancing Masen. He’s got plenty of ability in his pedigree and showed himself a useful prospect when an excellent third at this level over course and distance in August. Admittedly, he was well beaten on his next start in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in August, but he did too much too soon that day, and should have learned plenty from that outing. There ought to be more improvement to come from him yet, and he’s fancied to take this. 

Killavullan Stakes
Masen silk



Ascot 15:05 - Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

It’s impossible to oppose the unbeaten three-year-old Palace Pier, who very much arrives here as the one to beat. He has yet to put a foot wrong in three starts so far this campaign, winning a good renewal of the St James’s Palace Stakes over course and distance in June, and he showed he’s more than capable of handling this going when winning the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. He’s the clear one to beat on what he’s shown this season, and with the possibility of more to come yet, he can complete the perfect campaign. French raider The Revenant was second in this last year and is most likely to fill that place once again here, while the consistent Circus Maximus should produce another solid display at this level and is next best.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Palace Pier silk

Palace Pier


Ascot 15:40 - Champion Stakes

An interesting renewal of the feature, in which Magical will be hoping to come out on top for the second year running. She’s one of the most likeable horses in training, and has held her form really well this season, winning three times at the top level. Her performance to oust Ghaiyyath in the Irish equivalent of this last month gives her leading claims and she’s not passed over lightly, though it could be worth chancing the three-year-old Mishriff to improve past her. He’s improved with each of his three starts this summer, winning the French Derby in good style in July and following up in a Group 2 contest in testing conditions at Deauville last time out. There ought to be more improvement to come from him yet, and he can win this for the third time in four years for John Gosden.

Champion Stakes
Mishriff silk



Ascot 16:15 - Balmoral Handicap

A typically wide-open renewal of this competitive handicap, which looks likely to have a maximum field of 20 runners. Last year’s winner Escobar doesn’t take his chance this time around, and in his absence the vote goes to Greenside to strike for the Henry Candy team. He’s got some useful form under his belt, finishing second in a similar race over seven furlongs here last autumn, and he’s been in good heart in four starts so far this term, scoring off 2 lb lower at Haydock in July. He was a respectable sixth back down at six furlongs at York last week, when finding things a touch too sharp, but he has solid form over this trip, and handles this sort of going. His jockey Marco Ghiani takes a useful 5 lb off his back, and he’s a sporting each-way selection at 33/1 - with some bookmakers offering as many as six places. 

Balmoral Handicap
Greenside silk

Greenside (EW)

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