Top pundit Tony Elves has two bets from Champions Day at Ascot, live on Channel 4.
There is no doubting that Order of St George is a worthy favourite for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (1.25) at Ascot after his gallant third to stablemate Found in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe but he did have a hard race following on from a narrow defeat by Wicklow Brave in the Irish St Leger and better value may be offered by SIMPLE VERSE.
The Ralph Beckett-trained filly has taken awhile to really find her feet this season but the winner of last year’s St Leger found Doncaster a happy hunting ground once more when beating Pretty Perfect a neck in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes in September and it could well be that she shows her very best form in the Autumn.
Visitors to this star-spangled meeting will need no reminding that the Simple Verse followed up victory in the Classic with a three quarter length victory from Journey in the Fillies and Mares over a mile and a half at the meeting last year and her style of running suggests that she will be suited by this first step up to two miles.
Her trainer has team in fine form and at odds of around 11-2 she looks an each way steal with a 2pt each way recommendations.
Ryan Moore has long held MINDING in the highest regard and she could well prove the leading lady in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (3.10). The Galileo filly looked like should could go through the season unbeaten when hacking up by three and a half lengths from Ballydoyle in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in May but was surprisingly beaten a head by another of today’s rivals Jet Settting when bidding for the One Thousand Guineas double at the Curragh later that month.
Normal service was resumed in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom when she beat Architecture a length and three quarters of a length and added to more successes at the highest level when scoring by four and a half lengths from Bocca Biata in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in June and when scoring by a length and a quarter from Queen’s Trust in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood at the end of July.The Aiden O’Brien-trained filly had a short break before return in the Irish Champion Stakes last month and ran a highly creditable race to finish third to Almanzor and Found. That form was boosted by Found in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and I don’t expect the return to a mile to in anyway inconveniencing her. She looks worth a 2pt investment on a day when talent is truly on display.