Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 17 October 2020

Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 17 October 2020

UK Best Bets - Saturday 16 October 2020

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday's racing coming your way from Ascot Champions Day (including video analysis), Market Rasen, and Catterick.


Race 1: Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori

STRADIVARIUS can get favourite backers off to a flying start and show his lacklustre display in the Arc was a mere blip on his CV. The multiple Group 1 winner was totally unsuited by the slow early pace and sprint for the line at Longchamp, but is now back in his comfort zone, bidding to repeat his 2017 and 2018 triumphs in this stamina test. SEARCH FOR A SONG has been popular in the ante-post books but needs to show she stays two miles, MORANDO has the liking for testing conditions that could see him get into the shake-up at a big price, but FUJAIRA PRINCE jumps out as the main threat to the selection, having taken out a valuable handicap at the Royal meeting here in June and followed-up in the Ebor. He couldn’t hold Search For A Song at the Curragh last time but has a good chance of turning the tables back at his favourite course.

2nd Fujaira Prince
3rd Search For A Song
4th Morando

Race 2: Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)
Trainer: William Haggas - Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot

This is a sizzling sprint and arguably more strongly contested than either of the Group 1 dashes run at the Royal meeting back in June. Importantly, the easy underfoot conditions favour most of the main protagonists including overnight market leader DREAM OF DREAMS who has looked a different horse this summer. The Haydock Sprint Cup hero has reacted positively to a change in his training programme, has built up a fine understanding with Oisin Murphy and will be hard to beat. OXTED has enjoyed a similarly select campaign, with just two outings and a near 100-day gap since his July Cup triumph. ART POWER didn’t take the step up into Group 1 company as smoothly as expected at York, but improved on that at a Haydock, and can again earn. STARMAN is very much the joker in the pack following his three wins in an unbeaten run for Ed Walker but ONE MASTER could eclipse them all. Her unprecedented third successive win in the Prix de la Foret came over seven furlongs and in the most willing fashion. It endorsed the point that as a mature distaffer she is at her best in the autumn, but now she needs to show she’s capable of producing Group 1-winning form over a sprint distance. Her recovery from Longchamp has been swift, and with Boudot back in the plate and a strong pace assured she can rise to the occasion and swoop to conquer.

2nd Dream Of Dreams
3rd Art Power
4th Starman
5th Oxted

Race 3: Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)
Trainer: Ralph Beckett - Jockey: Harry Bentley

You can count the appearances of ANTONIA De VEGA on the fingers of one hand over the past year but the daughter of Lope De Vega has a happy knack of converting when she gets into a battle, as evidenced by her unbeaten sequence this year of a Listed success at Pontefract in June and success in a Newmarket Group 3 in September. Importantly she has also won in the soft, and is fresher than the majority of her foes. Of the three fillies that met in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp DAME MAILLOT fared best with a third placing. That came after her clear cut win in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket, since when she’s had her eye firmly on this target. WONDERFUL TONIGHT ran out the gamest of scorers in the Prix de Royallieu at the Arc meeting to make it two Pattern race victories from three attempts this year. She’s arguably the one with the best form in the race, but respect should also be afforded to THUNDERING NIGHTS, who could turn up at a price for Joseph O’Brien.

2nd Wonderful tonight
3rd Dame Maillot
4th Thundering Nights

Race 4: Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1)
Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori

It’s very hard to knock what PALACE PIER has achieved in his five-race unbeaten sequence spread over two seasons and he is a worthy favourite for what is looked upon as one of the jewels on an exceptional card. The son of Kingman represents a trainer who has bagged this race three times in the last four years and has shown himself to be a proper Group 1 horse with his wins in the St James’s Palace Stakes here in June and the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. His defeat of Alpine Star in France was accomplished with the hallmark of a horse that can look momentarily in trouble and then get out of jail, while the runner up bolstered the form with a cracking run in the Prix de l’Opera. Standing in the odds-on favourite’s way is THE REVENANT who Francis Graffard has shrewdly kept back for an autumn campaign. Such patience was instantly rewarded with the gelding’s comeback triumph on very soft ground at Longchamp. CIRCUS MAXIMUS is proving a fine servant for Aidan O’Brien and defends an unbeaten two-race record here that includes the Queen Anne Stakes this June. He’s earned in three subsequent Group 1s but is held by Palace Pier on the Marois form. Only two fillies take their chance, and while VERACIOUS needs to put an underwhelming effort at Newmarket behind her, the winner of that Sun Chariot Stakes NAZEEF goes to post with all guns blazing and needs to be taken seriously.

2nd Circus Maximus
3rd Nazeef
4th The Revenant, 5th Veracious

Race 5: Qipco Champion Stakes (Group 1)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien - Jockey: Ryan Moore

There could be no more fitting a winner of the Champion Stakes than MAGICAL, who bids for a repeat win in the race and third at this fixture in as many years. The daughter of Galileo has an international record to die for, is usually close to her best at this time of year and goes to post on the back of a crushing defeat of Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. With two other Group 1 triumphs under her wing prior to that, and a sole 2020 defeat coming in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, Magical looks every bit as good as she was at this time last season. ADDEYBB chased home the mare in this 12 months ago and has been a revelation for William Haggas with his Group 1 triumphs in Australia. He couldn’t cope with LORD NORTH in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot but that rival was then firmly put in his place by Ghaiyyath and co at York. Indeed John Gosden’s main arrow could well prove to be MISHRIFF who not only impressed on similar ground in a Group 2 in France last time but also gets a handy weight-for-age weight allowance. Investec Derby hero SERPENTINE missed out on a run in the Arc owing to a technicality along with JAPAN. He’s a strong staying type that could easily make his own pace, an outcome that would suit most of the runners in the field.

1st MAGICAL (Nap)
2nd Addeybb
3rd Mishriff
4th Lord North
5th Serpentine

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Race 2: No4 - HOOPER (Nap)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

HOOPER has done everything right since taking out a Stratford bumper on his seasonal return last month. He has schooled proficiently at home and can follow-up for his in-form stable at the main expense of Copperless.

Race 3: No2 - PALLADIUM
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Another Seven Barrows inmate that’s done well through the summer is PALLADIUM. A dual scorer at Sandown in the New Year, he was pulled up when last seen in a competency handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but is better than he showed. Take that out of the equation and the gelding hasn’t put a foot wrong for his connections.

Jockeys Ride Horses


Race 2: No8 - SHE’S A LION (Nap)
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: Joe Fanning

SHE’S A LION is drawn to attack and makes sense as the likely winner of this fillies’ novice. She stuck on well to get into the reckoning on her Kempton debut and should have learned bundles from that.

Race 5: No6 - JE SUIS CHARLIE (Each Way)
Trainer: John Quinn - Jockey: Jason Hart

A chance is taken with JE SUIS CHARLIE on his return from almost two years off the course. When last seen he was in winning form at this course and could be ignited by a return to the Flat from hurdling. The handicapper has given him a chance to make him of interest for a frame finish at least.

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