The key to British Champions Day this year is the heavy ground which will see the summer and autumn form turned upsides down. There is just the six races with three Group 1’s, two Group 2’s and a 28 runner Class 2 handicap. Of course the race that is most intriguing from a value betting perspective is that Balmoral Handicap run over the straight mile.
Let’s get straight down to business and the two horses I really like in this are Gabrial’s Kaka and Dream Walker. Gabrial’s Kaka has been on my radar since running much better than his final finishing position behind Field of Dream in the Royal Hunt Cup over course and distance. He found all the trouble in the world that day and yet powered home full of running on ground plenty fast for him. Once again he finished strongly at Sandown when third behind Velox over a mile having allowed the leaders too much rope up front.
Today Jamie Spencer is the perfect jockey for this hold up horse and they will come back to him much quicker on this heavy ground. His draw in stall 22 is good and trainer Richard Fahey is quoted as saying “Gabrial’s Kaka has been waiting for the heavy ground all year”. I fully expect this son of Jeremy to step forward on his good summer form and the only downside this morning is that Tom Segal of Pricewise has tipped him up as well thus all the 28/1 or higher available yesterday evening has disappeared! You can still back him at 20/1 and get 5 places which remains a good bit bigger than I expected especially coming from the yard of Richard Fahey.
If Grabrial’s Kaka cannot win then look to Dream Walker. Brian Ellison is a magnificent trainer of handicappers as seen by his Irish raids at Galway & Leopardstown with Baraweez. I cannot believe that Baraweez is priced up shorter than stable companion Dream Walker today but I guess some folk follow a horse no matter what it’s handicap mark, ground preference or race conditions. Of the two Ellison runners Dream Walker looks best handicapped and “will love the ground”. “He can’t have it deep enough” says Ellison and that is very good news for us who want to back him at a massive 20/1.
Dream Walker is best over a mile with all his best form and wins on soft or heavy ground. Martin Lane rides for the first time most likely due to Dale Swift being unable to do the low weight of 8-4. Lane’s confidence is sky high having ridden Sheikhzayeroad to win a Group 1 at Woodbine a few weeks ago for David Simcock. Dream Walker has finished runner up in each of his previous three starts over a mile. Surely today it’s his turn to get into the winners circle carrying a feather light weight on heavy ground. There is plenty of pace around him coming from stall 17 where I expect them to run up the middle of the course.
Selection A – 1 Point *EW Gabrial’s Kaka Ascot 16:45 22/1 Betvictor & Sportingbet else 20/1 generally use bookie paying 5 places
Selection B – 1 Point *EW Dream Walker Ascot 16:45 20/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes & Coral all paying 5 places
Best of luck,