Max bet in the Queen Elizabeth
Man On The Spot previews QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot and fancies Maxios to win the QEII Stakes.
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ESTIMATE has plenty going for her in the opener. Sir Michael Stoute's progressive filly won the Sagaro Stakes over track and trip before landing the Gold Cup here in June, goes well fresh and handles soft ground. Saddler's Rock has something to find with the likely favourite but finished ahead of Royal Diamond and Pale Mimosa in the Irish St Leger when just behind runner-up Ahzeemah. The Godolphin runner has decent claims on his Lonsdale Cup victory at York where he beat Caucus while the latter's stablemate and last year's runner-up, Aiken, can figure if back to his best. Times Up beat High Jinx and Biographer to land the Doncaster Cup and also makes more appeal than the in-form Harris Tweed over today's distance and the three-year-old Eye Of The Storm may well be capable of further progress having won a Listed event over 2m at the Curragh last month.
MAAREK beat Hawkeyethenoo and Sirius Prospect with Slade Power well behind when landing last year's renewal. Barry Lalor's sprinter arrives fresh from his recent heroics in the Prix de l'Abbaye and looks the one to beat once again. Cape Of Approval couldn't live with the selection at Longchamp last time and Viztoria was also well beaten over 7f at the Arc meeting, albeit by the brilliant Moonlight Cloud. Another Eddie Lynam runner in Balmont Mast scored at the Curragh recently but soft ground is a worry for him and Hoof It would also prefer a faster surface. Jack Dexter will be more at home on today's going and won over 7f at last year's meeting. He makes more appeal than the useful handicappers Heaven's Guest, Mass Rally and Racy.
Today's likely going is a concern for some of these and that includes the German filly Nymphea, a Group 1 winner on good ground in July. Belle De Crecy beat Hot Snap at the Curragh last month and is another who may prefer a faster surface, but TALENT has posted her best efforts with some cut in the ground. One of those was when landing the Oaks at Epsom with subsequent Park Hill winner The Lark back in third and she also ran a terrific race when runner-up in the St Leger last month. Ralph Beckett's filly gets the nod ahead of the French raider Dalkala. The latter is not the most consistent, but high-class on her day, as she proved when landing the Prix de l'Opera last time. Waila and Seal Of Approval are both progressive but untested at this level and Igugu may prove a bigger threat as she's unexposed over today's distance.
Soft going will be no problem for Olympic Glory and connections expect first-time blinkers to improve the Group 1 winner. But they'll need to if he's to reverse latest running with MAXIOS. The latter recorded an impressive five length victory dropped back to a mile for the Prix Du Moulin at Longchamp and Jonathan Pease's charge gets the vote. The talented but headstrong Dawn Approach ran way below par in France last time when Elusive Kate was also well beaten. The former may well handle the ground but still hasn't learned to settle properly. Gordon Lord Byron has won over a mile but 7f is his optimum trip and Soft Falling Rain makes more appeal. The latter is still improving judged on his latest Group 2 win at Newmarket though he's an unknown on the prevailing going. Kingsbarns' comeback in the Irish Champion Stakes was a bit of a disaster and the jury is out on him for the present.
Cirrus Des Aigles won this in 2011 and found only the mighty Frankel too good in last year's renewal. But he's struggled to attain his former heights all season despite winning a couple of lesser Group races and may be worth taking on. Farhh won the Lockinge back in May on his only start of the year so far and is a leading contender, but stablemate Hunter's Light is hard to fancy on recent form. Mukhadram beat Main Sequence earlier but has come up short behind Al Kazeem in a couple of subsequent Group 1 events while the likes of Parish Hall, Hillstar and Morandi are others with something to prove at this level. Derby winner, Ruler Of The World, failed to get involved in the Arc, though had finished ahead of TRIPLE THREAT over 1m4f in the Prix Neil Arc trial earlier. But that was the latter's first race since July and it could prove significant that Andre Fabre decided to give the Arc a miss and aimed his Monsun colt at this shorter distance instead. He gets a speculative vote to go close at a big price.
A recent winner at Ayr, Levitate has been better than ever this year and should figure again despite dropping back in trip. Jack's Revenge is another stepping down in distance after a second at York, but Breton Rock beat ONE WORD MORE over today's distance at Doncaster last month. That was a much better effort from the latter and Charlie Hills' colt is taken to reverse running on slightly better terms and finally fulfil some of the promise he showed last season. The draw made little difference in soft ground in last year's renewal so Balty Boys and Boots And Spurs may figure from the low numbers and Fils Anges, Brownsea Brink and Majestic Moon are worth considering of those drawn high.