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Saturday Racing Preview - Ascot Champion Stakes

It's Champion's Day at Ascot on Saturday, and we're taking a special interest in the 4:05 Qipco Champion Stakes.

It's the race everyone is talking about, and it's clear to see why.

In many ways it's a tale of two horses, but we're going to cover three here - the three horses that are topping the bookies tables.

It's going to be an extremely testing race, with the ground at Ascot currently described as "Heavy, soft in places".

With more rain predicted tonight ahead of a largely dry day, it is unlikely that the track will dry out significantly before the racing starts.

Even by four o'clock in the afternoon we anticipate the going will be Soft, at the very least, and almost certainly worse than that, so we can understand why Noble Mission is doing business at the bookies.

He's a proven winner on soft ground over this distance, and indeed his form looks good. He'd have been among the highest rated runners even without the rain, but the weather has certainly boosted his chances.

The best price we found on him was at Ladbrokes, who'll give you a decent 5/1.

The current favourite for the race is Cirrus Des Aigles.

One of the most succesful horses at a top level over the last few seasons, Cirrus came second to Frankel in the legendary horse's final race, and has gone on to great things himself.

He already has six wins at Group 1 level, and will be aiming to see off the field to register his seventh.

Cirrus also has the advantage of having won on soft ground over this distance, as if his quality was in doubt.

The best price we've found on him is at Coral, who'll give you a reasonable 13/8.

Finally, we come to the horse that is confusing punters up and down the land.

If Free Eagle weren't running, the victory of Cirrus Des Aigles probably would be in doubt.

As it is, the much fancied youngster may just be the horse to topple the older, proven racer.

His trainer and jockey have both indicated they feel Free Eagle could be one of the best horses ever, and his results have tended to back them up.

Two victories in three races, seperated only by a run to second behind Australia, show the calibre we're dealing with. Losing to Australia has proven to be no great shame whatsoever, and Free Eagle still has plenty of potential to improve further.

The big question that is worrying the punters is this: can he do it on ground that is soft, or perhaps even worse? He's never won or even run on anything worse than Good.

That, then, is the big gamble you can take here. Do you back the older crusader who has proven himself over the distance on soft ground? Or do you take a chance on the up and coming youngster who may yet turn out to be one of the best horses of his generation?

The choice is yours. All we can do is tell you that, at 3/1 over at ToteSport, the odds on Free Eagle are tempting enough for a punt.

Friday's Racing Preview - Newmarket

Here at Bonus Betting we're really excited for the Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket on Friday.

A huge collection of promising young horses will be running throughout the day, seeking to confirm their promise and move up into the big leagues.

We've looked through the listings to pick out the horses we think are worth backing.

In the first race, the 13:50 Dubai European Breeders' Fund Fillies' Nursery, Fruity and Pulcinella both show great promise, but we're leaning towards Majestic Manner to take the victory.

She has really impressed us over her two runs so far, making all last time out at Lingfield.

Our only slight concern would be the conditions - she has yet to run on soft ground.

Nonetheless, she's our pick here, and you can back her at 11/2 over at SkyBet.

We're skipping the second race and going straight to the 14:55 Middle Park Stakes for our next tip.

Ivawood has by far the strongest claim on this one. He has opposed several of the runners previously, including the somewhat fancied Jungle Cat, and looks good to repeat his winning form.

His run in the Richmond Stakes made us all sit up and take notice, and anything close to that tomorrow would make him very hard to beat indeed.

The big concern again is that he has never raced on soft ground.

That hardly makes him unique in this field, though, and we think his quality will show through.
You can back him for the win at 5/6 over at Paddy Power.

Finally, in the 16:00 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, we're taking a chance on surprise entrant Smuggler's Cove to take the victory.

Favourite Estidhkaar is certaily a strong contender, and Belardo and Maftool both show great promise, but the substitution of War Envoy with Smuggler's Cove has piqued our interest.

Although Cove won last week's Irish Stallion Listed Stakes in Dundalk, this is a huge step up in class for the young horse.

Nonetheless, Aidan O'Brien is no fool and he knows what it takes to win this race. We're anticipating even more progress from Cove, who on his last two outings, and so we're backing him for the win.

We've seen him as low as 3/1, but you can get him at a very decent 9/2 over at ToteSport.

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