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Andrew Mount’s Best Bets – Saturday, 21st October

Top tipster Andrew Mount gives four selections for Saturday’s excellent action, with all four tips running on Ascot’s Champions Day card.

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Posted: 3.26pm October 20th (Odds correct at time of writing)

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1.50 Ascot – VADREAM (1.5pt win – 7/1 888Sport + Unibet, 13/2 generally) + MAGICAL SUNSET (0.5pt E/W – 50/1 William Hill, 40/1 generally)

The pace looks to be far side from stalls 1 and 3 in the British Champion Sprint Stakes and hold-up performer VADREAM looks ideally berthed in stall 2. The Charlie Fellowes-trained mare has form figures of 111 (3-3) when racing over this 6f trip on soft or heavy going and ran a stormer in this race last year when an 80-1 sixth of 18 behind Kinross on unsuitably fast going.

MAGICAL SUNSET’s chance is far less obvious, especially if judged on her latest effort when last of ten in a 7f Group 3 contest for fillies at Doncaster. However, the ground was faster than preferred that day and it’s worth remembering that she scored in hock-deep mud at Goodwood on her penultimate start, albeit when well drawn on the outside in the 7f Oak Tree Stakes. She won on heavy ground at Newbury in the corresponding week last year and is unbeaten in the month of October (two from two). Her three runs at 6f have produced two wins and course and distance sixth on unsuitably fast going and her only other Ascot run saw her emerge best of those drawn low when eighth of 29 in the Sandringham at the Royal eeting this year.

Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

3.05 Ascot – CHECKANDCHALLENGE (0.5pt E/W – 66/1 generally)

The William Knight-trained CHECKANDCHALLENGE, a son of Fast Company, is bred to relish soft going but has had very few opportunities on such a surface. The four-year-old hardly arrives here in scintillating form having finished seventh of 17, fourth of five and fifth of nine on his last three starts but all came over 1m2f or further and the return to 1m will suit. His two runs on ground softer than good over today’s trip resulted in a 15-1 third in a Group 2 at Longchamp where he had Facteur Cheval a length back in fourth and a 2.5L 22-1 fourth in this race last year where he had Inspiral a further 2.5L back in sixth. According to the official handicapper, he’s 1lb better this year yet is three times the price.

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored By Qipco) (Group 1) (British Champions Mile)

4.25 Ascot – VETIVER (1pt win – 20/1 generally)

I’ve gone round in circles in this race but the one I don’t want to win unbacked is Andrew Balding’s VETIVER. The three-year-old filly has been off the track for 34 days – a little longer than the nine previous winners who all raced between one and 25 days ago – but her record on tracks with stiff uphill finishes reads 111 (3-3) and she’s drawn close to the early pace. She loves soft ground and, while her prominent running style is a slight concern, she’s worth a small interest. She found 7f at Doncaster an insufficient test when third in a Group 3 on her latest start and the step back up to a stiff mile looks ideal.

Balmoral Handicap (Sponsored By Qipco)

Andrew Mount’s Best Bets

1.50 Ascot – VADREAM (1.5pt win – 7/1 888Sport + Unibet, 13/2 generally) + MAGICAL SUNSET (0.5pt E/W – 50/1 William Hill, 40/1 generally)

3.05 Ascot – CHECKANDCHALLENGE (0.5pt E/W – 66/1 generally)

4.25 Ascot – VETIVER (1pt win – 20/1 generally)

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Andrew Mount’s tip for Saturday 21st October 2023.

Check out this week’s Weekend Watch podcast, where Andrew Mount, Dave Young and Kate Tracey guide us through their picks on the fantastic Champions Day card at Ascot:

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