Racing Action at Royal Ascot

Aidan O’Brien Finalises Ascot Champions Day Squad

After dominating the major Group One contests in recent weeks, Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O’Brien has turned his attention to Ascot Champions Day, sending a powerful team to the course for the richest raceday in Britain and Ireland.

Since the start of October, O’Brien has saddled a 1-2-3 in the Arc De Triomphe at Chantilly, before enjoying a 1-2 in both the Dewhurst Stakes and the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket; leaving him in touching distance of Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group One victories in a calendar year.

And with star-studded team heading for Ascot Racecourse, the legendary trainer will surely add more to his impressive tally. Dual Classic winner Minding will line-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, as she seeks to add to her victories in the 1000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks.

The filly will face the likes of Galileo Gold, Ribchester and Awtaad as she bids for a seventh Group One victory of her career.

O’Brien will also be hoping for another impressive performance from the ultra-consistent Found, who will look to follow up her victory in the Arc, in the QIPCO Champions Stakes – the highlight event of Champions Day.

The-four-year-old will face stiff opposition from red-hot favourite Almanzor, Royal Ascot hero My Dream Boat and Coral Eclipse winner Hawkbill – but after such an impressive performance last-time it is hard to ignore her claims.

Ascot Gold Cup star Order of St George will be looking to get the O’Brien bandwagon off and running in the opening race of QIPCO Champions Day – the Long Distance Cup. The four-year-old was last seen finishing third in the Arc De Triomphe and will be hard to beat if fully tuned up.

Ribchester the “one to beat” in the QEII on QIPCO Champions Day

Ribchester one of the star colts of the flat racing season, will be looking to give Richard Fahey the biggest win of his career in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday.

The Godolphin three-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic campaign scoring in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and in a Group One event at Deauville.

The race at Champions Day will be the fourth clash between Ribchester and 2000 Guineas star Galileo Gold – with the winner likely to be crowned the European Champion Miler and Fahey is confident in his horse, saying: “Everything is going well so I’m excited. Days like this are what the job is about. I would prefer to have the favourite than a 33-1 shot but he is probably the one they have to beat.

“Galileo Gold beat Ribchester twice in the Guineas and the Sussex Stakes. On the last clash we beat Galileo Gold. You’d have to think that was a below-par run for him but we have to think we’re improving.

“We had a short head to make up on the Sussex. We felt we had improved at Deauville but we don’t know because the other horse was disappointing.”

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