British Champions Sprint Stakes Tips

British Champions Sprint Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

Race two on Champions Day at Ascot sees the best of the seasons speed-balls take to the track in the British Champion Sprint Stakes. Here we take a look at the best odds and racing offers available, and provide our betting tips for this full throttle affair.

This Group 1 6f contest was first run at Newmarket back in 1946 and joined the Champions Day offering in 2011. Open to all runners aged three and older, the £600,000 in total prize money available makes this a much sought after prize and, as ever, some really great horses will be going to post.

British Champions Sprint Stakes Tips and Betting Offers, 1:35, 19th October 2019

British Champions Day is always a day of mixed emotions for fans of flat racing. Whilst it marks the end of another season on the flat, it is a great celebration of the last few months of action. The incredibly strong card gets off to a fittingly high class start with the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes.

Form On Soft Ground Absolutely Vital

Ascot in October is a very different prospect to Ascot in June. Whereas the going at Royal Ascot is usually good or even firm, it will be much softer on Saturday afternoon. Conditions will play a major role in each of the races taking place, particularly the Sprint Stakes.

This 6 furlong contest is not just your standard sprint. The rainfall in the area means that stamina comes into the equation. Horses who have not already proven themselves able to cope with soft ground should not be considered, no matter what they’ve achieved under a firmer footing.

Cape Byron to Enjoy Ascot Return

Whatever the conditions, Ascot is the sort of track that just doesn’t seem to suit some horses. Many incredibly high level performers have failed to find their best at Ascot time after time. Fortunately, however, the opposite is also true.

Cape Byron is firmly in the camp of those horses who find that Ascot brings the best out of them. Roger Varian’s five-year-old almost always runs well at Ascot, no matter what the conditions. Indeed, his most recent appearance came over 6 furlongs at Ascot when he won the Bengough Stakes on soft ground.

That Group 3 win marked a welcome return to form for Cape Byron ahead of his first appearance at British Champions Day. The Sprint Stakes is a big step up in class but with the going set to be a real leveller, he has every chance of scoring.

Dream Of Dreams Another to Relish the Going

Dream Of Dreams is another horse in the field for this year’s Sprint Stakes with impressive form on soft ground. He also has form at Ascot having pushed Blue Point all the way in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting.

A cursory look at Dream Of Dreams’ most recent form doesn’t necessarily suggest that he has what it takes to win on Saturday. However, he wasn’t quite right for either of his last two performances. A return to his best could just be enough to get the job done.

Betting Predictions

Cape Byron and Dream Of Dreams both have enough class and form on soft ground to suggest that they will pose a real threat to those who sit above them in the betting. They each have a real chance of winning but it’s Cape Byron who narrowly gets the nod at 10/1 at Coral with Dream Of Dreams looking a better shout each way at 12/1 with BetVictor.

British Champion Sprint Stakes Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Sands Of Mali – jockey Paul Hanagan, trainer Richard Fahey
  • 2017 – Librisa Breeze – jockey Robert Winston, trainer Dean Ivory
  • 2016 – The Tin Man – jockey Tom Queally, trainer James Fanshawe
  • 2015 – Muhaarar – jockey Paul Hanagan, trainer Charlie Hills
  • 2014 – Gordon Lord Byron – jockey Wayne Lordan, trainer Tom Hogan
  • 2013 – Slade Power – jockey Wayne Lordan, trainer Edward Lynam
  • 2012 – Maarek – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer David Peter Nagle
  • 2011 – Deacon Blues – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer James Fanshawe
  • 2010 – Lady Of The Desert – jockey Richard Hughes, trainer Brian Meehan
  • 2009 – Sayif – jockey Richard Hills, trainer Peter Chapple Hyam
  • 2008 – King’s Apostle – jockey Liam Jones, trainer William Haggas
  • 2007 – Haatef – jockey Richard Hills, trainer Kevin Prendergast
  • 2006 – Red Clubs – jockey Michael Hills, trainer Barry Hills

Race History Including Top Jockeys and Trainers

Inaugurated in 1946, this event was originally named in honour of one of Ascot’s most successful racehorses. Diadem counted back to back wins in the King’s Stand Stakes at this track amongst his 24 career victories and lent his name to this contest until 2011.

That year marked the debut of Ascot’s Champions Day, with this race included to act as the days flagship sprint contest. With increasing prestige and prize money, Group 1 status soon followed for the first time in 2015.

The race certainly got off to a flyer in terms of quality of winner, with the first edition being taken by The Bug who also landed the July Cup, Nunthorpe and Wokingham during a stellar three year old campaign.

Boldboy proved a little too bold for connections’ liking, proving almost impossible to handle at times. A gelding operation soon calmed him down though and he swiftly developed into one of the most popular sprinters of the 20th century. Taking this in 1973, the Dick Hern-trained star also counted a Greenham Stakes, Lockinge Stakes and an incredible four Abernant Stakes amongt his career victories.

Other famous winners in the race’s history include the subsequently successful stallions Cadeaux Genereux (1988) and Acclamation (2003), and Charlie Hills’ champion sprinter Muhaarar (2015).

Best Jockeys and Trainers

The honour of being the most successful trainer in the history of this race is shared between two Classic-winning trainers. The first man to reach the benchmark of four wins was one Walter Nightingall – a name perhaps not too familiar to modern racing fans – who recorded his successes between the years of 1952 and 1959.

The second trainer is somewhat more well known. The winner of 16 British Classics and regularly voted as the greatest trainer of all time, Vincent O’Brien rattled off a quick fire quartet of victories in this race between 1971 and 1975.

The man aboard all four of O’Brien’s winners was fellow legend of the turf, Lester Piggott. With three further triumphs to his name, Piggott is out on his own as the most successful jockey in the history of the race. If we had a quid for every race we’d said that about!