It’s Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday and you can find a full race-by-race guide to all the action as ITV Racing showcase every race from the Berkshire layout.
Elsewhere, they go at Newton Abbot and Limerick over jumps as well as Leopardstown, Catterick and Wolverhampton (AW) on the Flat and we’ve got three Saturday picks away from the Ascot extravaganza.
They include one for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan over at Leopardstown with a fine chance of notching a first win at Group-race level.
Grosvenor Square – Leopardstown 15:36 @ 6/4
All eyes are going to be fixated on Ascot for much of the afternoon but trainer Aidan O’Brien has plenty of depth to his squad and will be aiming to land the Group 3 Eyrefield Stakes over at Leopardstown with GROSVENOR SQUARE (6/4).
The Galileo colt was strong in the betting on debut and duly obliged at Galway (1m½f, soft) in September and he stepped up on that effort at the Curragh soon after when finishing third in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes behind Deepone and Chief Little Rock.
That’s a fair level of form and his stablemate and runner-up Chief Little Rock was second since, in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket so it looks solid in the context of this race.
The fact he has twice handled soft ground bodes well with conditions at the Foxrock track set to be testing and Seamie Heffernan’s partner is the one to beat now.
Spring Day – Wolverhampton 20:30 @ 18/1
The Wolverhampton nightcap is a 7f handicap and it could present a chance for SPRING DAY (18/1) to show improved form for new trainer John Butler.
The daughter of Bobby’s Kitten scored in a 6f Chelmsford novice in September last year on debut when trained by Andrew Balding. She had just two more starts for that trainer and debuted for this handler at Lingfield in August over 6f on their turf track.
She has twice appeared here over this 7f trip in recent weeks and finished close to the placings in both instances. Things haven’t fallen just right for her on either occasion and, eased another 2lb by the assessor, there could be a bigger run in this lightly-raced filly.
She’s on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder and Saffie Osborne’s partner could be some value in this Betfred Extra Place Race (four places).
Riviere D’etel – Limerick 15:15 @ 6/4
Listed fare over hurdles from Limerick this afternoon comes via the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cailin Alainn Mares Hurdle, where recent Listowel first and second Popova and Space Tourist clash once more for Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins.
The runner-up has a good chance of avenging that defeat on the revised terms but a tendency to jump to her left is a worry at this track.
In any case, they both should struggle to contain Gordon Elliott’s classy RIVIERE D’ETEL (6/4).
She won her Punchestown maiden hurdle on heavy ground on New Year’s Eve 2020 and was far from disgraced at the Cheltenham Festival a few months later in the Fred Winter, finishing seventh as Jeff Kidder scored.
She won three times the following season over fences, including a Grade 3 at Navan, and was third behind Galopin Des Champs no less at Fairyhouse on final start.
She was 0-4 last term over the larger obstacles but was still in the mix when hampered and falling in the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham in March.
She has an excellent record when fresh and shouldn’t need to be at concert pitch to deft her main rivals back over timber now.