Addeybb can shrug off a lengthy absence and defend his Qipco Champion Stakes title at Ascot on Saturday.
William Haggas’ seven-year-old thrived in the tough conditions last October to secure a first British Group 1 and while the Ascot going is unlikely to be anywhere near as testing this time around there should still be – just about – enough cut for this admirable performer.
His need for ease has limited him to just three starts since his Champion Stakes success, but he has not been disgraced in those outings, chasing home old adversary Verry Elleegant when trying to claim a second Ranvet Stakes win at Rosehill in Australia in March before reversing that form to take a second Queen Elizabeth II Stakes win at Randwick subsequently.
Addeybb has had just one European start in 2021, chasing home St Mark’s Basilica in the Eclipse at Sandown, when the reopposing Mishriff was beaten a neck on ground that was probably a touch too quick for Haggas’ runner.
Both older horses were conceding 4.5kg to the winner and returning from a couple of months on the sidelines, so there was not much to choose between them, although Mishriff has obviously boosted his profile since with a fine second in the King George and a runaway Juddmonte International win.
Addeybb will have to be at his best to maintain the Eclipse form, but at the prices and with a bit more cut than at Sandown, it is not out of the question.
John and Thady Gosden will likely take a leading role on the rest of the card, with Palace Pier expected to shine in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The four-year-old has suffered just on defeat in 10 career outings, beaten into third by The Revenant in this race last year when connections reported the ground to be totally against their charge.
Palace Pier can certainly handle a bit of ease though, as he showed when beating Lady Bowthorpe in the Lockinge earlier this term, before adding Queen Anne gold to his tally at Royal Ascot.
His season was then slightly derailed by a blood disorder and John Gosden was clear that Palace Pier was lacking in match practice when he fended off the admirably consistent Poetic Flare by just a neck to complete a rare Prix Jacques le Marois double last time out.
The Gosden team will hopefully have Palace Pier firing on all cylinders for what could be his last public appearance and while Baaeed and The Revenant are worthy opponents, Palace Pier is the form pick.
Stradivarius can reverse French form with Trueshan in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
The Gosdens’ staying superstar was beaten 4.50 lengths in the Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp by Alan King’s runner, but the distance is probably not truly reflective of his performance as Frankie Dettori was far from hard on the seven-year-old when it was clear he had little chance of victory.
Very soft conditions would hardly have played to Stradivarius’ strengths as while he can handle a bit of cut, deep ground seems to blunt his change of gear, but the Ascot going should not be quite so testing and he would be a popular winner given his recent renaissance.
Snowfall should really get back on the winning trail in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes after a couple of disappointments.
An impressive winner of the English and Irish Oaks, she had the reopposing Albaflora well beaten in second in the Yorkshire version and was widely expected to add another Group 1 when lining up in the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp.
However, she raced well off the pace in France and could not catch Teona. She was then sixth in the Arc, briefly looking as though victory could be within her grasp before dropping away at the finish.
The opposition here is certainly of a lesser calibre and Snowfall should take advantage for Aidan O’Brien, particularly with the bit of ease in the ground another positive factor.
Creative Force is on a rapid upward trajectory and is just given the nod in a competitive Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.
With the now-retired Starman an absentee, this Group 1 has a pretty open look to it and a rating of 113 puts Charlie Appleby’s charge right in the mix.
Winner of the Jersey Stakes over 1400m at the Royal meeting, he was only beaten two lengths by Starman in the July Cup before moving back up in trip again to be edged out in the Lennox Stakes.
Switched back to 1200m for the Haydock Sprint Cup, Creative Force could not get back on terms after stumbling at the start, beaten three lengths in sixth on ground that was probably a bit quicker than he would have liked.
He will enjoy the Ascot ease and can mark himself as a sprint star for the 2022 campaign.
Sunray Major has been all the rage for the closing Balmoral Handicap, but Nugget could be a value bet for Richard Hannon and owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
The four-year-old just prevailed by a neck at Haydock on his most recent outing, returning from a 147-day break in fine style with plenty seemingly still to come.
The handicapper has been limited to a 1.5kg rise for that victory and given how easily he secured that verdict, Nugget is worth a chance. – www.sportinglife.com
TAB is betting on 6 UK race meetings today. Here are the tips:
MARKET RASEN: Race 1: 14.00 On My Command, Race 2: 14.35 At Poets Cross, Race 3: 15.10 Winged Isle, Race 4: 15.45 Dino Velvet, Race 5: 16.20 Casablanca Mix, Race 6: 16.55 Rafferty, Race 7: 17.25 Sarsen.
CATTERICK: Race 1: 14.20 Ruby Jules, Race 2: 14.55 Cover Name, Race 3: 15.30 Admirality, Race 4: 16.05 Emiyn, Race 5: 16.40 Tarboosh, Race 6: 17.15 Dark Shot, Race 7: 17.50 Justified.
ASCOT: Race 1: 14.25 Stradivarius, Race 2: 15.00 Creative Force, Race 3: 15.35 Snowfall, Race 4: 16.10 Palace Pier, Race 5: 16.50 Addeybb, Race 6: 17.30 NUGGET (NAP).
FFOS LAS: Race 1: 14.40 Belle Na Bann, Race 2: 15.15 Bullion, Race 3: 15.50 Uno Mas, Race 4: 16.25 Sienna Royale, Race 5: 17.00 Cadzand, Race 6: 17.35 Umbrigado, Race 7: 18.05 On The Quiet, Race 8: 18.40 Scarface.
STRATFORD: Race 1: 14.45 Don Alvaro, Race 2: 15.20 Ascot Day, Race 3: 15.55 Splinter, Race 4: 16.30 Nightfly, Race 5: 17.05 Pillar Of Steel, Race 6: 17.40 Rebel Leader, Race 7: 18.15 Amelia’s Dance.
WOLVERHAMPTON: Race 1: 18.00 Liam’s Lass, Race 2: 18.30 Tyche, Race 3: 19.00 Tinsmith, Race 4: 19.30 Dubai Hope, Race 5: 20.00 Hasty Sailor, Race 6: 20.30 Atacama Desert, Race 7: 21.00 Symbol Of Light, Race 8: 21.30 The Gloaming.
DOUBLE: Addeybb and Nugget (Ascot, Races 5 and 6).
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za
Source: Tab News