Ascot QE2 Stakes betting preview & tips
BRITISH Champions Day arrives at Ascot on Saturday with no fewer than five Group races, including both the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and then Frankel’s final farewell appearance in the Champion Stakes. And while all the attention this weekend will centre on the world’s best racehorse as he bids for an unprecedented 14th straight victory, perhaps the best betting proposition may lie in the QEII. Excelebration, who for so long has had to play second fiddle to Frankel, lines up in the mile contest but faces stiff competition from Cityscape and John Gosden’s Elusive Kate. All three have form on soft ground, which should make this an exciting renewal as the ground at Ascot looks like coming up soft. Check out the selection of free bets available for this race here.
The nature of Excelebration’s one and a quarter length victory over Cityscape at Deauville last time rightly means Aidan O’Brien’s dual Group 1 winner will go off favourite on Saturday. He was drawn 11 of 11 in France but under a confident Christophe Soumillon ride was always up with the pace and ran on best of all in the final furlong. A repeat performance would make him especially hard to beat and he should be up to going one better than he did in this race last year when he bumped into a certain Frankel.
Cityscape is a likeable sort for Roger Charlton who has been campaigned abroad for the majority of the last two years. In fact, he is yet to taste victory in Britain since his victory in the Nayef Joel Stakes at Newmarket back in 2010. He has though been victorious in Ireland, France and Dubai, scooping that first and all important Group 1 in the latter. Whether he will be up to winning here though after a busy schedule remains to be seen but should at least run into the place money. For the latest Cheltenham bets visit this section of our site.
Judging by her victory in the Prix Rothschild and close second in the Sun Chariot, John Gosden has a filly going places in Elusive Kate. As the only female in the race, she gets a useful few pounds off the colts and has form on soft ground when finishing second in the Falmouth at Newmarket. Whether she can improve again, which she will need to do here, remains to be seen but she looks a fair price to go very close. Carlton House has been a little disappointing since being sent off favourite for last year’s Derby and was beaten at odds on in the Summer Mile when last seen. On paper, the Queen’s representative has a lot to do and may be better on a quicker surface.
At likely forecast odds, Most Improved could spring a surprise if putting a line few a couple of his recent runs. Brian Meehan’s inmate is a proven Group 1 performer but often lets himself down as he did in Deauville and in the Nayef Joel Stakes when last seen. A repeat of his St James Palace Stakes victory over course and distance would put him in the frame and he has the assistance of a first-time visor and the in-form Richard Hughes in the saddle.
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By Mikey Mumford
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