Antepost racing tips: Betting preview for Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot this Saturday

EACH Monday, we will bring you top antepost tips for the week's action with our column, 'The Early Bird'.

More often than not there is some unbelievable value in the bookies' antepost markets – so let's get on early and catch us some juicy worms.

The weekend just gone was a solid if unspectacular one, with each-way hopes Wembley and Not So Sleepy hitting the frame in their respective races to give us a small profit.

Onwards and upwards and it's time for the last big one of the Flat season as Ascot stages British Champions Day.

It's a stunning card with four Group 1s and plenty of wedge on offer, with some of the best horses in Britain and Ireland entered up.

Bring it on.

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Let's start with the Fillies and Mares Stakes, in which WONDERFUL TONIGHT (2.30 Ascot) looks to have an outstanding chance.

She's been a breath of fresh air this season for trainer David Menuisier, who doesn't get anywhere near the credit he deserves in my opinion.

She mightn't be the most familiar name to some of you as her last four starts have come in France, but she has made relentless progress and capped her fine run of form with a Group 1 win on Arc weekend in the Prix de Royallieu.

That was over 1m6f on testing ground, but she is equally as adept over this 1m4f trip and, while ground conditions won't be anywhere near as bad as they've been at Champions Day in the past, it will still be on the slow side which is perfect for her.

Magical heads the betting, but she will go to the Champion Stakes to try and retain her crown, so when you take her out of the equation there isn't a great deal to be afraid of.

Wonderful Tonight has plenty of class, stays all day and is firmly on the upgrade. What's not to like? She should go off favourite on Saturday.

While she is a confident selection, my second pick at Ascot is a tad more speculative.

No one can deny that the top-class Palace Pier is the one to beat in the QEII, but I'm keen to have a play on ROSEMAN (3.05 Ascot) at long odds.

Roger Varian's lightly-raced four-year-old has tons of ability, but he has also had one or two issues and needs cut in the ground to show his best.

He was limited to five starts as a three-year-old but ran to a high level, including a decent fifth in the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot.

He ended 2019 with a bang when absolutely destroying a classy field in a Newmarket Listed race on heavy ground, thumping the likes of Century Dream and Accidental Agent.

And he showed that was no fluke when running huge in the Queen Anne first time out, keeping on for an excellent fourth having been stopped in his run at a key moment in the race.

You can completely throw out the run over slightly further in France, as the ground was much faster than the official description of 'Good' and he never looked comfortable.

He is now back to his optimum trip under his optimum conditions, he arrives fresher than most after a light campaign and he remains open to significant progress after just seven career starts – especially when he has everything in his favour like he does here.

He also holds an entry in the Champion Stakes, but I will be stunned if he runs there as he is unproven over 1m2f and that race has loads of depth.

The Early Bird – antepost selections and advised odds

Saturday

2.30 Ascot – Wonderful Tonight 2pts WIN @ 5-1

3.05 Ascot – Roseman 1pt EW @ 33-1

  • (started August 3) P&L: -3.7 pts

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