The confirmations for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday are headed by four of the world’s top six turf horses in the latest edition of the World Thoroughbred Rankings.
World number one, Frankel the 1/6 favourite (rated 140), and world number two, Cirrus des Aigles ( 4/1 ) (130), are joined by the fourth best turf horse in the rankings, Nathaniel ( 9/1 ) (126).
Only the Japanese Triple Crown winner and Arc runner-up, Orfevre (127), and Black Caviar, tied with Excelebration on 125, are missing (So You Think is also 125 but is already retired).
Frankel, Cirrus des Aigles and Nathaniel are all set to contest Europe’s richest 10-furlong race, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes (4.05pm), which could make it one of the highest-rated races this century. Frankel should have enough class to win and bow out a true champion on Champions Day.
German raider Pastorius has also confirmed and is to take his chance for trainer Mario Hofer. On his most recent start, the Solder Hollow colt recorded a comfortable Group Three victory over 10 furlongs at Hoppegarten on October 3.
A total of eight horses go forward in the QIPCO Champion Stakes with the confirmations also including Aidan O’Brien’s progressive performer Declaration Of War and the French-trained filly Ridasiyna, impressive when taking the Group One Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on October 7. Frankel’s pacemaker Bullet Train and Master Of Hounds complete the possible line up.
The Queen will be at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day and is set to have a runner in the race named in her honour with Carlton House.
The four-year-old, who finished third in the 2011 Epsom Derby, has made three appearances so far this season.
After making a successful return in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May, the son of Street Cry chased home So You Think in the Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Great Heavens at 5/2 looks a banker bet at Ascot on Saturday in the Champion Fillies And Mares Stakes, Sapphire is the one to beat. Excelebraction ,the hot 8/11 jolly will be very hard to beat in the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes at the Berkshire course.
* Top racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days and is regularly on television.