The past few weeks have not gone entirely as planned for champion trainer Dean Ivory and his highly fancied gelding Librisa Breeze. Having come in a lowly ninth in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month, the six-year-old from Mount Nelson again came up short at Newbury, losing out by a length and three-quarters to 12/1 shot Massaat despite being ranked the 13/8 favourite.
But Ivory is not one to panic. After losing out at Newbury, he told reporters: “The horse deserves to win, and we will get there.” Having had a few more days to reflect, he now has his eyes fixed firmly on Champion’s Day at Ascot.
Ivory has entries held for both the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, but right now he is focused on giving the horse some time to freshen up in the weeks leading up to the big event.
The view from the bookies
As the culmination of the flat racing season, Champion’s Day is eagerly awaited by riders, trainers, enthusiasts, bookmakers and just about everybody involved in horse racing. The bookies are currently offering Librisa Breeze at 20/1 in the showcase Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and at 10/1 in the sprint stakes. Those who can’t make it in person can always claim 888 bonus bets, which are being offered to new members who want to place a wager online, so this could be the perfect time to get involved.
If Librisa Breeze is going to pull off a win at Ascot, the Sprint Stakes is probably the place to put your money. As far as the showcase race goes, 20/1 certainly represents tempting odds, but these reflect the general opinion that bookmakers’ favourite Ribchester is likely to prove too strong for all comers. The four-year-old colt from the Godolphin stable blew away all comers at the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot. Having said that, victory at Goodwood was also seen as a foregone conclusion earlier this month, but Here Comes When had other ideas.
Join in from anywhere
If you can get along, there is no experience like Champion’s Day. Ascot will be full of the pomp and ceremony for which it is famous, but at the October event, it is always blended with that distinct “last day of school” atmosphere that accompanies the end of the racing season, and there is a feeling in the air that anything is possible.
Gates open at 10:30, with the first race at 1:25 PM, and it is worth bearing in mind that the course offers free entry to children, so it need not be as expensive a family day out as you might think.
Of course, for those who can’t get there in person, there is always the opportunity to keep up with the action and monitor the latest odds online, so wherever you are, make sure you find time to wager a couple of pounds and enjoy the final day of the season.