Cirrus to reclaim Champion title
Ashley Iveson provides a tip for every race on Saturday and likes Cirrus des Aigles in the feature at Ascot.
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ASCOT: 1.45 Estimate, 2.20 Slade Power, 2.55 Dalkala, 3.30 Gordon Lord Byron, 4.05 CIRRUS DES AIGLES (NAP), 4.45 Bubbly Bellini.
CATTERICK: 1.20 Pravda Street, 1.55 Sandra's Diamond, 2.30 Ronya, 3.05 Sherman McCoy, 3.40 Love Island, 4.15 Just Paul, 4.50 Aegean Destiny, 5.20 Hurricane John.
CHELTENHAM: 2.00 Creepy, 2.35 Easter Meteor, 3.10 Handazan, 3.45 Life Of A Luso, 4.25 Larks Lad, 5.00 Sizing Italy, 5.30 Carningli.
CORK: 2.05 Ucanchoose, 2.40 Expedition, 3.15 Enter The Red, 3.50 John Constable, 4.20 Tandem, 4.55 Keyword, 5.25 Modista, 5.55 Shadagann.
KELSO: 1.35 Gloshen, 2.10 Imperial Vic, 2.45 Gold Futures, 3.20 Wicklow Lad, 3.55 Bogside, 4.35 Mysteree, 5.10 Sendiym, 5.40 Top Billing.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.50 Wilhana, 6.20 Let Me In, 6.50 Poncho, 7.20 Borough Boy, 7.50 Burren View Lady, 8.20 Train Hard, 8.50 Icy Blue.
DOUBLE: Cirrus Des Aigles and Estimate.
Cirrus des Aigles looked right back to his brilliant best at Longchamp last time and he can confirm his return to the top of the tree by reclaiming his crown in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Winner of the race in 2011 and second behind the brilliant Frankel 12 months ago, Corine Barande-Barbe's pride and joy headed into the current campaign as officially the highest-rated Flat horse in the world.
However, a setback suffered in the Far East late last year delayed his return and when he did eventually make his comeback, early results were less than inspiring.
Many believed father time was finally catching up with the seven-year-old as he was well beaten in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, the King George and twice at Deauville's summer meeting, but Barande-Barbe's faith never wavered.
Her confidence was given some credence as Cirrus des Aigles set off on the road to redemption in a minor race at Maisons-Laffitte and any remaining doubters were made to eat humble pie as the French star showed he is peaking at exactly the right time with a demolition of his rivals in the Prix Dollar.
A mile and a quarter on soft ground is undoubtedly his niche and if he runs up to the level he has in the last two renewals of this race, he should win, as this does not look as strong an event.
Godolphin's talented but fragile Farhh is the clear threat, but his fitness has to be taken on trust having been sidelined since May.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is a tricky race to assess, with doubts hanging over a number of the leading candidates.
Dawn Approach has something to prove after a disappointing run in France last time, there are real concerns about the ground for South African star Soft Falling Rain and there is little doubt Stephane Pasquier caught his fellow jockeys cold when winning the Prix du Moulin aboard Maxios.
One horse who is bound to give his running is Tom Hogan's stable star Gordon Lord Byron, who was so brilliant in similarly testing ground in the Sprint Cup at Haydock last month.
He ran another sound race when second to the exceptional filly Moonlight Cloud at Longchamp last time and while he has shown fair form without winning over a mile at the top level, he is nothing if not consistent and is well capable of being in the first three at double-figure odds.
The Queen's Estimate is very difficult to oppose in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly is unbeaten in three starts at the track, completing the hat-trick with that famous victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.
Her stamina is assured, she has a touch of class and comes into this race fresh having not been sighted since her career-defining triumph four months ago.
She will be encountering far easier conditions on her return, but her victory in a soft-ground Queen's Vase last year suggests that should not hold any fears.
Few would begrudge Slade Power a deserved big-race victory in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.
Eddie Lynam has always been of the opinion the four-year-old could develop into at least as good a horse as his multiple Group One winner Sole Power and he has turned into a potent force this year, winning two Group Threes and placing at Group One level twice.
His excellent second in the Sprint Cup showed he can handle ease underfoot and the feeling is he is still improving.
Alain de Royer-Dupre's Prix de l'Opera winner Dalkala can claim the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at the main expense of Epsom Oaks heroine Talent.
Sandra's Diamond is banker material in the totescoop6 Novice Stakes at Catterick, while the best bet on the all-weather at Wolverhampton is the hat-trick seeking Let Me In, who goes in the £32 Bonus At 32Red.com Handicap.
Cheltenham stage day two of their 'Showcase' meeting, with Alan King's Handazan the choice in what looks a wide-open Masterson Holdings Hurdle.
The Sir Maxwell Harper Gow Memorial Novices' Handicap Chase at Kelso looks a good opportunity for Sendiym to get back in the winner's enclosure.