Jack Hobbs To Be Crowned Champion

Jack Hobbs to be crowned champion on QIPCO Champions Day

Jack Hobbs may have had to play second fiddle to his imperious stablemate Golden Horn this season, but not today when he looks set to be crowned champion in the QIPCO Champion Stakes. The Gosden horse has only suffered two defeats in his short career, both being to Golden Horn. In any other season he would be seen as a superstar. Now he has the chance to take centre stage in what is a weaker than usual renewal of the Champion Stakes.

The Irish Derby winner has little to fear from the fear with the only unknown quantity being the highly regarded Fabre horse Vadamos.

Ground allowing the Queen Elizabeth II will see the clash of generations between Guineas hero Gleneagles and the five-year-old Group One winner Sollow. If both show the Champion Miler for the year will certainly be decided. Elm Park is an interesting outsider.

Today’s card at Ascot starts with a very open contest in the shape of the Long Distance Cup. The race looks open to the improving Litigant who is said to be in great form after an impressive victory in the Ebor.

The Sprint would seem to be at the mercy of the talented Muhaarar with the only concerns being the ground and the long season. Twilight Son, The Tin Man and Maarek are the main challengers for the Sprint title.

In the Fillies & Mares, the St Leger winner Simple Verse takes on the ultra-consistent Covert Love, but they may be surprised by the four-year-old Tapestry who has the ability to be a danger.

The Balmoral Handicap is open, where GM Hopkins and Ayaar look worth each way punts.


Connections are confident of a win with this very talented three-year-old. Unbeaten except by his imperious stablemate Golden Horn who defeated him in the Derby and Dante. In what looks a weak renewal compared to previous years, he will show his class.


A brilliant training performance saw Litigant become the winner of the Ebor on his seasonal debut. According to the trainer he has improved from that run which would put him right in the mix for this open looking renewal.


Archer would not have been put off by the talk of will he won’t he run. It is certain if he does turn up to race the champion would fight to be on board this talented miler.


Winner of the Sprint in  2012, he will love the conditions. This season he has put in some notable performances and seems to have built a productive bond with his jockey Jamie Spencer.

Crockford’s QIPCO Champions Day 2015 gambles:

Ascot – Litigant e/w (Long Distance Cup), Muhaarar and Maarek e/w (Sprint 1.20), Covert Love (Fillies & Mares 1.55), Gleneagles (Queen Elizabeth II 2.30),  Jack Hobbs (Champion Stakes 3.05), GM Hopkins e/w and Ayaar e/w (Balmoral 3.45)


(Featured photograph – Ascot by Stuart Rice)

QIPCO British Champions Day Ante Post: Litigant 12/1

Ebor winner Litigant is excellent QIPCO British Champions Day Ante Post value

The 2014 All Weather Championship hero and Ebor winner looks excellent value at 12/1 with BetVictor for the Group Two Long Distance Cup.

Unbeaten since 2013, the lightly raced stayer is well placed to continue his winning run in what seems to be a weaker renewal of the race.

If trainer Tuite’s stable-star makes the line up expect his price to shorten and for the horse to go close.


(Featured photograph – Litigant at All Weather Championship 2014 by Stuart Rice)

QIPCO Champions Day 2014: Weld’s Champions

Trainer Dermot Weld’s champions are set to dominate on QIPCO Champions Day 2014

Irish trainer Dermot Weld has an excellent record on QIPCO Champions Day and sends out two of his best this year; Free Eagle and Forgotten Rules.

Early last season Free Eagle was the talk of the tracks in Ireland and was fancied to go on to be a classic winner. That was not to be after his defeat to the mighty Australia, but his return at Leopardstown showed that all of the quality remained. Now in the Champion Stakes he will face a stiff challenge when taking on one of the very best on soft ground Cirrus Des Aigles. The French trained champion will be having his sixtieth race and looks near his zenith. However, Weld is a master planner and thinks that the colt is one of his very best.

Forgotten Rules is Weld’s chance of picking up the Long Distance Cup, where he faces the 2013 St Leger and Gold Cup winner Leading Light. Never extended at Punchestown or Galway Forgotten Rules could be anything.

The QE II is an interesting contest in which the improving Charm Spirit will have to beat the soft loving Night Of Thunder to be successful.

Le Bec and John’s Spirit will showcase their talent at Cheltenham.


Always highly regarded, Free Eagle was beaten on his second outing by the imperious Australia. The horse was not seen again until his facile victory in the Group Three Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown last month. Expect the three-year-old to show his true champion credentials.


Luca Cumani’s Velox finished second in the Cambridgeshire  last month and with Cam Hardie on board today looks sure to go close again. The up and coming horseman has formed a strong partnership with the horse and takes valuable pounds of his rides back.


Archer would have known how well the master trainer plots a race with his horses. The style of the victory at Galway would not have been missed by the champion jockey.

Crockford’s QIPCO Champions Day Gambles:

Ascot –  Forgotten Rules (Long Distance 1.45), Gregorian e/w (Sprint 2.20), Tasaday e/w (Fillies & Mares 2.55), Charm Spirit (QEII 3.30)Free Eagle (Champion Stakes 4.05) and Velox e/w (Balmoral 4.45)

Cheltenham – Johns Spirit (2.35), Tiger Roll (3.10), Le Bec (3.45), Act Alone e/w (4.25) and Splash Of Ginge (5.00)

Catterick – High Office (2.30), Ballesteros e/w and Duke Of Firenze e/w (3.05)

Kelso – Carlito Brigante (3.20)


(Featured Photograph – Dermot Weld at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)