The QEII has been ran for over 50 years and since 2011 has been ran at Ascot on the nicely dubbed “Champions Day”. The day itself has been privy to criticism due to it being held late in the season and therefore certain horses may not appear, but, let’s look at the recent roll of honour for this race. Charm Spirit, Olympic Glory, and Excelebration, who was absolutely brilliant when winning the race in 2012. And then there was the great Frankel. Who, after missing the break and had a 5L deficit to make up, brilliantly wound down Cirrus Des Aigles on soft ground to win in front of a sell out crowd. This was one of my best recollections of flat racing throughout the years. Whoever was there that day will not be one of those critics. It was electrifying to see Frankel overcome the effervescent French challenger and we hope to see some more heroes come out on top tomorrow on a cracking days racing for the lover of the sport.
The QEII is a fascinating race, and firstly we must look at Solow. Often called “the brilliant Solow” by commentators, he has overcome all in front of him this season. His last two victories in England have been workmanlike, but effective, after beating Esoterique by 1L at Royal Ascot and beating Arod perhaps less convincingly at Goodwood. He clearly knows how to get his head in front, which is a fantastic attribute to have in a horse and he is unbeaten in 8 runs. But, he is only rated (I say only…) 124 which gives others here a chance.
Gleneagles is an obvious candidate and I am hugely excited to see him still in this lineup. When one of the best trainers in recent history says he is the best miler he has ever trained you take note, and on fast ground there would be no problem in assessing this race with Gleneagles as a 5/4 favourite. But he needs that better ground and therefore will he run is the question. Many firms offer NRNB and I am certain AOB will not run this horse unless he believes he can win, which is tempting in itself. He is a class horse and one I truly hope runs.
Kodi Bear is fascinating considering his love of the ground and how the handicapper assesses him. Rated 118, which to be honest makes me question Gleneagles rating of just 119 (he did win the Guineas by 2L+!), puts him firmly in with a chance. Softer ground brings out the best in him but I would imagine the ground to ride genuine which should see others too speedy for him.
Territories is an interesting prospect. Trained by the brilliant Andre Fabre, he has already beaten Kodi Bear in France which further makes me question the 118 of Kodi Bear. He has only been beaten by Gleneagles and Esoterique this year and has a massive chance at 10-1. Whether good enough to win, however, is another question.
Elm Park looks to be behind the ‘top of the class’ 3 year olds and Integral is thoroughly exposed. Ryan Moore deserts her for Gleneagles after she was outclassed by Esoterique and will be retiring after this race. I’m sure she will run her race as usual but will be behind the cream of the crop tomorrow.
To be completely honest, NRNB on Gleneagles is tempting and something at 3/1 earlier in the week worth taking. He won’t run unless he is deemed suitable to win by his trainer and could be taken but even at 2/1 it’s probably too short. Group races are often hard to find value in but TERRITORIES must offer that at 10-1. He likes soft ground, has only just been beaten by one of the main market rivals (on his terms) and is rarely out of the placings. He should be shorter than Kodi Bear and should be placed at a minimum. Good luck with whatever you go forth with.
On a final note, this generally marks the end of the flat season and we’ve had a very successful one. However, I’m excited (more than ever!) to be heading into the NH season and after having a nice winner earlier in the week will be focusing more and more on this moving forward, with one eye on Cheltenham, of course.
This blog was brought to you by Tipsters Empire expert The Snout. His results since going live have been second to none and he currently offers similar subscriptions to what we offer at JPW. Visit Tipsters Empire for more information.