Ascot Hosts Challenge Race on Champions Day
Saturday's group I, $1.56 million Queen Elizabeth II, sponsored by Quipco, will offer an automatic starting berth into the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile and will be headlined by the undefeated FRANKEL (GB). Juddmonte Farm's 3-year-old homebred son of Galileo (IRE) is perfect in eight starts for trainer Sir Henry Cecil and looms a short-price favorite to annex his fifth career group I. Frankel is 4-for-4 this year, including a trio of group I's, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in April, the St. James's Palace at Royal Ascot in June and Sussex at Glorious Goodwood in his last start July 27.
Frankel, who will likely be making his last start of the year in the Queen Elizabeth II, appears to lay over what is shaping up as a short field for the one-mile contest. R C Strauss' IMMORTAL VERSE (IRE) defeated Goldikova in the group I, "Win and You're In" Jacques le Marois at Deauville in her last start August 15 to earn an automatic berth into the Mile. The 3-year-old daughter of Pivotal (GB) is 4-for-7 lifetime for trainer Robert Collet and looms Frankel's main foe.
John Manley's DICK TURPIN (IRE) is 9-for-19 lifetime for trainer Richard Hannon and has knocked heads with the best milers in the world the past two years. The 4-year-old son of Arakan is a multiple group I winner and enters off a win in the group I Premio Vittorio Di Capua at San Siro September 24.
Ascot also hosts the group I, $2.028 Emirates Airline Champion, where Juddmonte's TWICE OVER (GB) will look to win the 1 1/2-mile contest for the third year in a row for Cecil. The 6-year-old son of Observatory was third to Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and is 12-for-28 lifetime in a distinguished career. Stablemate and 2009 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner MIDDAY (GB) is also slated to start. The 5-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream (GB) is also a multiple group I winner and is 9-for-21 lifetime.
SO YOU THINK (NZ) could wheel back on short rest after finishing fourth in the Arc October 2 for O'Brien. The 5-year-old son of High Chaparral (IRE) is a multiple group I winner, is 12-for-18 lifetime and could use the Champion as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Breeders' Cup Mile betting
at Off-Track Betting