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Almanzor – 7-1 Arc de Triomphe with Ladbrokes

Almanzor – 9-1 Ascot Champion Stakes with Ladbrokes

With a 20 day gap this year between Arc weekend and Ascot’s Champion’s Day there is every chance that the £1.3 million Qipco Champion Stakes could see a contest worthy of it’s billing on Saturday 21st October.

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Forty nine horses have been entered for the Group 1 end of season highlight run over a mile and a quarter including last year’s impressive winner Almanzor, star filly Enable as well as a huge 15 possibilities from the Ballydoyle stable of Aiden O’Brien.

While dual Oaks winner Enable is heading next for the Knavesmire and the Yorkshire Oaks, for which the filly is currently a red-hot 1-3 favourite, followed by a trip to Chantilly for the Qatar Prix de L’arc de Triomphe on the first Sunday in October, a much bigger gap than usual between Europe’s richest race and Ascot has opened the door for the daughter of Nathaniel to compete in both.

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Trainer John Gosden, who has also entered his stable star in the Qipco British Champion Fillies and Mares Stakes, is keeping an open mind regarding her end-of-season targets, saying: “ She’s been entered in both Ascot races and there’s a week longer between the Arc and Champions Day this year. That means, from a trainer’s point of view, you’re not trying to back up in 13 days at Ascot this year – there are 20 this time – so all possibilities are open. “

Almanzor, out of action since winning last year’s Champion Stakes, is set to return to action at Deauville next Tuesday, although trainer Jean-Claude Rouget is taking things one step at a time with his talented colt, explaining:” I’ve yet to make any decision and we’ll know more after Almanzor’s comeback race next week in the Prix Gontaut-Biron. He satisfied me when working last Tuesday and, although he won’t be 100 per cent fit, I’m hopeful of a good performance. It’s a good thing there’s an extra week between Chantilly and Ascot, but it’s too early to say if we’ll run at both meetings.”

Trying to second-guess which horses will represent the powerful Ballydoyle stable is not an easy task but at this stage Churchill and Cliffs Of Moher look the most likely contenders.


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