Three trainers to keep close eye on for Champions Day
12 Oct 2017
David Simcock, Dermot Weld and James Fanshawe runners will warrant a second look at Ascot
Sheikhzayedroad provided David Simcock with a third big-priced Champions Day winner last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Which trainers have excelled with their runners on QIPCO British Champions Day? We highlight three whose runners on Saturday week will be well worth keeping an eye on.
Champions Day winners: 3. Profit (if putting £10 on each of his runners): £240.
None of David Simcock’s 14 runners on Champions Day have started shorter than 9-1 but it has not stopped him saddling three winners.
Breton Rock (12-1) won QIPCO Future Stars Apprentice Handicap in 2013 and a year later Madame Chiang (12-1) struck in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. Last year, Sheikhzayedroad (11-1) kept on gamely to land the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
In addition, Lightning Spear (9-1) was an excellent third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year, while his Gramercy (50-1) was third in the handicap that concluded the card in 2013. The clear message here is do not underestimate the Simcock contenders – regardless of their price.
This year he could be represented by Sheikhzayedroad (Long Distance Cup); Lightning Spear and Breton Rock (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes); Desert Encounter (QIPCO Champion Stakes) plus Brittanic and Bless Him (Balmoral Handicap).
Champions Day winners: 4. Profit: £185.
There is little doubt that Dermot Weld knows better than most what is required to send out a winner on Champions Day.
He has sent nine runners to racing’s big £4.3 million finale – all ridden by Pat Smullen – and four of them have won.
Rite Of Passage (8-1) scooped the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup in 2012 and on the same card Sapphire (5-2) landed the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Two years later, Forgotten Rules (3-1) gave Weld another the Long Distance Cup winner and, in 2015, Fascinating Rock (10-1) ruled in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
His Free Eagle had been a close third in the same race 12 months earlier.
This year, the County Kildare trainer has one entry in Eziyra, a general 8-1 for the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes after winning Group 3 prizes on her past two starts.
Champions Day winners: 3. Profit: £150.
It is safe to say that whatever horses that James Fanshawe sends to Champions Day are always worth a second look.
Since 2011, he has 13 runners and three have won – Deacon Blues (5-2) in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes; Seal Of Approval (16-1) in the 2013 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes; and The Tin Man (13-2) back in the Sprint.
There have also been exciting near-misses.
Primaeval (10-1) finished second in the QIPCO Future Stars Apprentice Handicap in 2011 and Speedy Boarding (14-1) beat all bar Journey in last year’s Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Like Weld, he has one entry – The Tin Man, a general 6-1 to repeat his victory of 12 months ago.