The 1m2f Champion Stakes (3.05pm) is the final race in the British Champions Series Middle Distance category, sponsored by QIPCO and the highlight of four Group 1 races at Ascot on Saturday.
This year’s renewal revolves around Jack Hobbs (5/4), who had to play second fiddle behind higher-profile stablemate Golden Horn in both the Dante and Derby. That form got a major boost when Golden Horn won the Arc, but Jack Hobbs had already made his own headlines when a convincing winner of the Irish Derby at The Curragh in late June.
John Gosden’s three-year-old didn’t have to be at his best to win his preparatory race, the September Stakes at Kempton six weeks ago, but his very easy 3¼-length victory demonstrated his well-being and he looks a worthy favourite. The Halling colt has yet to race on going softer than good, so underfoot conditions are a slight concern – especially with the risk of showers in the South East for the rest of the week – but, as the highest-rated horse in the race, he commands maximum respect.
Found (9/2) could only finish ninth of 17 beaten 5 lengths behind Golden Horn in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp two weeks ago. She was bumped at a crucial stage and is better judged on her length defeat by the same horse in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown the previous month. Officially, Aidan O’Brien’s filly has a couple of pounds to find with Jack Hobbs but, unlike the favourite, has winning form on soft going and looks a potent threat.
The Corsican (12/1) was beaten but far from disgraced on his sole attempt at the highest level in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and, having recorded all four career wins on good or softer going, should appreciate underfoot conditions. He proved his well-being when staying on to beat Sky Hunter by 1½ lengths in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup over 1m3f at Newbury four weeks ago. Dropping back a furlong under his preferred conditions, The Corsican could be more of a threat than his odds suggest.
Racing History (14/1) is 3-3 this season, winning a maiden, a 0-95 handicap and the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor between May and August. Strictly on official ratings, the Pivotal colt has 13lb to find with Jack Hobbs, but has winning form over this 1m2f distance on the prevailing good to soft going and is by far the least exposed runner in the field. Saeed bin Suroor won the Champion Stakes with Farhh in 2013, so it’s interesting that Racing History has been supplemented at a cost of £75,000.
French champion trainer Andre Fabre (pictured) sends over the progressive Vadamos (6/1), who could pose a big threat to the principals here. Unlike many of his rivals, Vadamos has soft ground winning form. He ran right away form his field in a German Group 2 last time. It is hard to assess the merit of his opponents that day, but he made them look ordinary.
Our Preview’s Champion Stakes Betting Tips
Vadamos is a very interesting foreign raider, while Jack Hobbs is the obvious one on Group 1 form. But we are not going to get rich backing 5/4 chances, so in search of value our Champion Stakes betting tips advice is to back THE CORSICAN each-way at best odds of 12/1 with Betfair Sportsbook or Ladbrokes. The Galileo colt is two from two on good to soft going and could still have more improvement to come.