So You Think tops Champion contenders

A total of 17 high-class horses are still engaged in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s So You Think is now back in the picture after positive comments from the Ballydoyle handler at the weekend and he could attempt to bounce back from his fourth place in the Arc at the beginning of the month.

O’Brien has also left in Await The Dawn who returned from his defeat at York a sick horse. Windsor Palace is another Coolmore possible.

John Gosden’s King George winner Nathaniel remains in the mix but Gosden will be anxiously watching the skies for rain all week.

Henry Cecil finally won the Juddmonte International for the sponsor, Khalid Abdullah, with Twice Over, and the tough six-year-old will be attempting to win the Champion Stakes for a third time at the weekend.

Joining him will be the mare Midday, second at York but winner of a third Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Godolphin could be represented by Casamento and Dubai Prince, while Poet’s Voice is another who could run for Godolphin.

The French challenge looks strong with the consistent gelding Cirrus Des Aigles a likely runner and Reliable Man also still engaged, although he is another who would want rain.

Snow Fairy is still in the mix for Ed Dunlop while Jim Bolger’s Banimpire could turn out again.

The likes of Wigmore Hall, Green Destiny and Ransom Note are others who add strength in depth.

Gold Cup hero Fame And Glory features among 13 possible runners in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup on Saturday.

His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, also has Regent Street in this weekend’s Group Three prize, while Godolphin could be represented by Opinion Poll, Cavalryman and Darley Sun.

David Lanigan has interestingly entered star filly Meeznah in this staying event as well as the Qipco British Champions Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes on the same card.

The Mark Johnston-trained pair of Colour Vision and Eternal Heart, John Dunlop’s Times Up and Chiberta King from the Andrew Balding yard are other contenders.

Meanwhile, Johnny Murtagh is poised to renew his association with Investec Oaks heroine Dancing Rain in the British Champions Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Kieren Fallon partnered the William Haggas-trained filly as she racked up a Classic double in the German Oaks on August 7, but Murtagh, who was riding at the Curragh that day, is in line to reclaim the ride in the Qipco-sponsored Group 2, for which Dancing Rain is a general 7-1 chance.

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