Donjuan and Tasleet can help you emerge triumphant
The most eyecatching race on Champions Day as a betting medium is the Champions Sprint.
Unsurprisingly, Harry Angel is pretty short following his four-length romp in the Haydock Sprint Cup. Clive Cox’s colt clearly loves that track having also smashed the track record there back in May.
However, he is now returning to Ascot, the course where he has suffered all three career defeats. Take that into account and he is worth taking on.
His main market rival is Caravaggio, but the dual Royal Ascot winner has had a disappointing summer since his Commonwealth Cup success and I don’t fancy taking short odds about him either.
With these two taking plenty of meat out of the market, there’s lots of value elsewhere.
We know how well The Tin Man goes at Ascot. He won this event last year and is a perfectly fair price having finished third behind Harry Angel last time.
Yet bookmakers seem to have forgotten about the horse who split those two at Haydock and it does seem odd that a few firms make Tasleet twice the price of The Tin Man at 12-1 despite having just beaten him.
Tasleet, who was also just a neck off his old rival in the Diamond Jubilee at the royal meeting, has finished in the first two in ten of his 13 starts. He handles soft ground well were the rain to arrive and is excellent each-way value.
Another you must not ignore at massive odds is Donjuan Triumphant.
Now with Andrew Balding, the four-year-old has seemed revitalised for the fitting of a hood, winning his last two starts including the rescheduled Ayr Gold Cup, run at Haydock last month.
That was a race Donjuan Triumphant did very well to win as he had been given lots to do and was conceding plenty of weight in heavy ground. The margin of victory was only a short head, but I reckon it would have been a lot more in less gruelling conditions and he seems right back to his best.
Time and again we see handicap form work out in top sprints, notably in this event. Last year’s Ayr Gold Cup one-two were second and third and the 2012 winner Maarek had finished third at Ayr.
Donjuan Triumphant has been placed in Group 1 company before so has already proved he can mix it at the top level. Given all that, odds of 50-1 are too big.
Closer to hand we have a very different Flat race taking place this weekend in the marathon Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
Ian Williams is a top handler of Flat stayers and he looks to have two fine chances this time with London Prize and Byron Flyer.
Imperial Cup winner London Prize is up 11lb from his impressive victory at Goodwood in June. He comes into this nice and fresh and, with James Doyle booked, I wouldn’t put anyone off.
However, at 25-1, preference is for Byron Flyer.
This six-year-old has finished second on his last four starts, but he just seems to have been unlucky more than anything else. He continues to improve and ran particularly well when fitted with cheekpieces at Doncaster last time, just being denied by Time To Study, with whom he is 4lb better off here.
Crucially, he seems to have stamina in abundance. He’s a multiple winner at two and a half miles over hurdles and ought to relish this test. The dryish forecast is in his favour.