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.
CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – JACK HOBBS (CHAMPION STAKES 3.05)
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.
CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – LITIGANT E/W (LONG DISTANCE CUP 12.45)
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’S SELECTION – GLENEAGLES (QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2.30)
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.
LUCKY CHANCER – MAAREK E/W (SPRINT 1.20)
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)