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Three trainers to keep close eye on for Champions Day

12 Oct 2017

David Simcock, Dermot Weld and James Fanshawe runners will warrant a second look at Ascot

Sheikhzayedroad provided David Simcock with a third big-priced Champions Day winner last year. Picture:

Which trainers have excelled with their runners on QIPCO British Champions Day? We highlight three whose runners on Saturday week will be well worth keeping an eye on.

David Simcock:

Champions Day winners: 3. Profit (if putting £10 on each of his runners): £240.

None of David Simcock’s 14 runners on Champions Day have started shorter than 9-1 but it has not stopped him saddling three winners.

Breton Rock (12-1) won QIPCO Future Stars Apprentice Handicap in 2013 and a year later Madame Chiang (12-1) struck in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. Last year, Sheikhzayedroad (11-1) kept on gamely to land the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

In addition, Lightning Spear (9-1) was an excellent third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year, while his Gramercy (50-1) was third in the handicap that concluded the card in 2013. The clear message here is do not underestimate the Simcock contenders – regardless of their price.

This year he could be represented by Sheikhzayedroad (Long Distance Cup); Lightning Spear and Breton Rock (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes); Desert Encounter (QIPCO Champion Stakes) plus Brittanic and Bless Him (Balmoral Handicap).

Dermot Weld:

Champions Day winners: 4. Profit: £185.

There is little doubt that Dermot Weld knows better than most what is required to send out a winner on Champions Day.

He has sent nine runners to racing’s big £4.3 million finale – all ridden by Pat Smullen – and four of them have won.

Rite Of Passage (8-1) scooped the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup in 2012 and on the same card Sapphire (5-2) landed the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Two years later, Forgotten Rules (3-1) gave Weld another the Long Distance Cup winner and, in 2015, Fascinating Rock (10-1) ruled in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

His Free Eagle had been a close third in the same race 12 months earlier.

This year, the County Kildare trainer has one entry in Eziyra, a general 8-1 for the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes after winning Group 3 prizes on her past two starts.

James Fanshawe:

Champions Day winners: 3. Profit: £150.

It is safe to say that whatever horses that James Fanshawe sends to Champions Day are always worth a second look.

Since 2011, he has 13 runners and three have won – Deacon Blues (5-2) in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes; Seal Of Approval (16-1) in the 2013 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes; and The Tin Man (13-2) back in the Sprint.

There have also been exciting near-misses.

Primaeval (10-1) finished second in the QIPCO Future Stars Apprentice Handicap in 2011 and Speedy Boarding (14-1) beat all bar Journey in last year’s Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Like Weld, he has one entry – The Tin Man, a general 6-1 to repeat his victory of 12 months ago.