Timeform big race preview: Magical to make it three in a row on Champions Day

Magical in full flow on Champions Day

Magical bids to become the first three-time British Champions Day winner - and Timeform make her the one to beat in the day's feature Group 1.

The Top-Rated

Magical (Timeform weight-adjusted rating: 140)

Magical has been successful on Champions Day for the last two seasons – she won the Fillies & Mares in 2018 and the Champion Stakes last season – and she has a good chance of completing a hat-trick at the event. The five-year-old has proved better than ever this season and registered a career-best effort on Timeform ratings when beating Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last month, securing a seventh Group 1 success in the process. Few horses in training are as tough and reliable as Magical – she has run to a Timeform rating of 120 or greater on 14 of her last 15 starts – and she handles testing conditions well, so she is a worthy favourite.

The Improver

Mishriff (132p)

Mishriff has improved with each start during his career and the lightly-raced three-year-old could have even more to offer. Mishriff was seemingly John Gosden's second string on his reappearance at Newmarket in June, sent off at 10/1 in a listed race in which stablemate Waldkonig was 11/8-on, but he proved far too good, scoring by four lengths after impressing with how he moved through the race. He then followed up in the French Derby, registering a decisive length-and-a-quarter victory, before confirming the form with the placed pair in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano, coping well with the heavy ground. That form is short of the level achieved by the likes of Magical, Lord North and Addeybb, but it's difficult to rule out an unexposed colt with such a positive profile.

The Timeform Flag

Addeybb (Horses For Courses)

Addeybb has compiled a fine record over this course and distance, impressively winning the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot last season before getting to within three quarters of a length of Magical in this race. Addeybb, who took his form up a notch with two Group 1 wins in Australia in the spring, posted another creditable effort over this course and distance when runner-up to Lord North in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. The good ground on that occasion wouldn't have played to his strengths – he is especially effective when the mud is flying – but he'll have conditions in his favour on Saturday.

The Verdict

There is more strength in depth to this year’s Champion Stakes than the edition Magical won 12 months ago. However, MAGICAL has raised her game even further this season and will be tough to beat if running to a similar level as she did at Leopardstown last month, when she took the notable scalp of Ghaiyyath. She can be relied upon to launch another bold bid.

Timeform’s weight-adjusted rating

140 Magical
138 Lord North
136 Japan
136 Addeybb
132p Mishriff
132 Serpentine

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