QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup Betting Tips
It’s Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday. We’ve quality races throughout the afternoon but perhaps the most intriguing of the lot is the first race up, the Long Distance Cup.
This Group 2 race takes place over two miles and is open to horses aged three and older. With a big prize to aim for, a collection of high calibre horses have been entered for a crack at the 2017 renewal.
With a mouth-watering battle between Order Of St George, Big Orange and Stradivarius in prospect, racing fans are hopeful that the forecast is wrong and we get some better weather in Berkshire on Saturday.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Sheikhzayedroad, ridden by Martin Harley, trained by David Simcock
2015 – Flying Officer, ridden by Frankie Dettori, trained by John Gosden
2014 – Forgotten Rules, ridden by Pat Smullen, trained by Dermot Weld
2013 – Royal Diamond, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, trained by Johnny Murtagh
2012 – Rite of Passage, ridden by Pat Smullen, trained by Dermot Weld
The Trends to Look Out For
This race has been going under one name or another since 1873 so, as you can imagine, we’ve got plenty of statistics and trends to go on to help pick out a winning bet. However, the stats from 2011 are most useful as that’s when the race was switched to Ascot from Newmarket.
A Royal winner on QIPCO British Champions Day?— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) October 16, 2017
DARTMOUTH has been supplemented for the QIPCO Long Distance Cup on Saturday pic.twitter.com/igDn682PZe
The Long Distance Cup is not a race for horses coming in cold. Competing against tough opposition over two miles requires a fair deal of fitness and race sharpness which is why all but two of the last 15 winners had a run in the five weeks leading up to the race.
In terms of the distance, make sure to back horses who have won over at least 14 furlongs before. Preferably, at least one of those longer distance wins would have come at Listed level or higher.
There have been some surprise winners of the Long Distance Cup since it’s moved to Ascot but generally speaking, the bookies tend to call it correctly. The majority of recent winners have had a starting price of 9/2 or shorter while 10 of the last 15 favourites managed at least a place.
Sheikhzayedroad Will Need a Big Improvement to Win Again
David Simcock was delighted with Sheikhzayedroad’s win in this race last season. The eight-year-old has been unable to follow that win up with another so far in 2017 and it will take a huge improvement in his form to get the better of the top three in the betting.
John Gosden will hope that the weight allowances given to three-year-olds will boost Stradivarius’ chances at Ascot but we think the winner will come from the two favourites, Order Of St George and Big Orange.
Big Orange got the better of his younger rival in a great battle at the Ascot Golf Cup. It would be fitting if the six-year-old could repeat the trick at the same course.
He was beaten by Stradivarius last time out but this sort of battle is right up his ally. He loves nothing more than getting stuck into a contest that goes right down to the wire and with just that very thing expected, Big Orange looks set to prove his class once more at 5/1 with Betfred.
Royal Connections Rightly Confident at Ascot
The Long Distance Cup always has a long list of entries early on but the late announcement that the Queen’s horse, Dartmouth, will be competing took many racing fans by surprise.
Dartmouth was disappointing in the Irish St Leger where he finished towards the back of the field but he was much better just weeks before when running over two miles at York.
Sir Michael Stoute is becoming increasingly confident about Dartmouth’s ability to compete over the longer distances. With connections confident about this excellent horse, we recommend an each-way bet at 12/1 with Betway.