Latest betting from Sky Bet for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 21

Cracksman
Cracksman

Cracksman, Harry Angel and Ribchester all remain in contention following the latest forfeit stage for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on October 21.

A total of £4.3 million in prize-money will be up for grabs on Britain's richest raceday, which is taking place for the seventh time.

There are 35 individual Group One winners entered across a card that consists of four Group Ones, a Group Two and the richest one-mile handicap in Europe - the Balmoral Handicap Stakes.

Ante-post favourite Cracksman is one of 26 horses to stand their ground for the Qipco Champion Stakes.

John Gosden's Great Voltigeur and Prix Niel winner sidestepped a clash with stablemate Enable in last weekend's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but does still have the option of making one final appearance this season in Berkshire.

A stellar cast of 14 Group One winners includes Barney Roy, Highland Reel and Winter. The latter is also in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes and the QEII.

Decorated Knight and Poet's Word, the first two home in last month's Irish Champion Stakes, are other likely contenders.

Winter is one of 29 horses in the QEII, a list that is headlined by Richard Fahey's stable star Ribchester.

The Godolphin-owned colt is officially rated Europe's best miler and sets a very high standard having won three Group One races this season.

His opponents could include Churchill, Barney Roy and Al Wukair - the first three home in this year's 2000 Guineas. 

Andrew Balding is set to saddle last week's fast-improving Joel Stakes winner Beat The Bank, as well as Here Comes When, who inflicted a shock defeat on Ribchester in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

"Beat The Bank is an intended runner. Here Comes When is in good form and goes straight to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes," said Balding.

"We were thinking of running him (Here Comes When) in Italy (after Goodwood), but decided we were best keeping him fresh for Champions Day."

Harry Angel is rated the best sprinter in the world on official ratings following his stunning displays in the July Cup at Newmarket and Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Clive Cox's three-year-old is one of five Group One winners among a total of 25 horses going forward for the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

The four other top-level scorers in the field are Caravaggio, who beat Harry Angel in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, Karl Burke's Commonwealth Cup and Sprint Cup heroine of last year, Quiet Reflection, the James Fanshawe-trained The Tin Man, who won this race 12 months ago and the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June, and Limato from Henry Candy's yard.

Big Orange and Order Of St George fought out an epic battle for the Gold Cup in June and could clash again in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

Other hopefuls among 31 horses still in the mix include Gosden's Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius, who has since finished a close third in the St Leger, and David Elsworth's Desert Skyline, who was third at Goodwood before winning the Doncaster Cup.

"He's come out of his win at Doncaster fine and we are looking forward to running him on Champions Day," said Elsworth.

Last year's winner Sheikhzayedroad is set to defend his title for David Simcock.

The aforementioned Winter is one of 19 possible runners in the Fillies & Mares along with her stablemate Rhododendron, last year's winner Journey and her stable companion Coronet.

Balding's Horseplay was fourth behind Enable in the Oaks at Epsom in June, but has not been seen in competitive action since filling the same position in a Group Two at Saint-Cloud the following month.

Balding said: "She had a setback, but at the moment we are in good shape to try to make it to Champions Day with her.

"Her Oaks run looks pretty good now and she handles cut in the ground, if it comes up like that on the day."

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