Champion Stakes tips – US Army Ranger the each-way value at 16/1

Champion Stakes tips - US Army Ranger the each-way value at 16/1

Fascinating Rock

Us Army Ranger

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Betting Tip: Us Army Ranger @ 16/1 with bet365

A field of 11 will go to post for the Qipco Champion Stakes over 1m2f, due off at 3.45pm.

Who’s favourite?
Last year’s 1-2-3-4 are back for more but they’ve all got Almanzor to beat. France’s best middle-distance three-year-old and indeed the highest rated horse of that age in Europe swerved the Arc to wait for this and that looks a smart move on the part of his trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, who is enjoying a landmark season and has been sounding bullish about his colt’s chances of landing a third Group 1. While there would have been stamina doubts about him over 1m4f, he’s unbeaten over this trip and was particularly impressive when coming from last to first off a strong pace to beat a genuinely deep field in the Irish Champion Stakes last time out. He’ll be tough to beat if in the same sort of mood and is a worthy favourite (13/8 best with Betfred).

Who’s next best?
Found was a clear second best in that Leopardstown race and she franked the form in no uncertain style when winning the Arc on her next start. This is a quick reappearance and a hard race just 13 days ago is never the perfect preparation, especially on the back of such a busy season – she’s been on the go since April, running eight times and finishing runner-up five times in addition to her two victories. However, her trainer wouldn’t be running her if he wasn’t happy with the way she came out of the Chantilly race and didn’t think she had a chance of going one better than last year’s second.

And the rest?
Last year’s winner Fascinating Rock has been campaigned with a defence in mind by Dermot Weld, whose record at this meeting is an impressive four winners from seven runners since its inception in 2012. It would be dangerous to rule out a repeat, although he would have preferred some rain as all his best form is on ground with plenty of cut.

Jack Hobbs went off even money favourite 12 months ago only to finish third after possibly finding the trip on the short side. He stays 1m4f well and may again be found wanting, especially as he’s been off since pulling up at Newmarket in April.

US Army Ranger gives Aidan O’Brien another string to his bow for a race he has surprisingly never won (0-9 this decade), and he wouldn’t be without a chance if returning to the form he showed when runner-up to Harzand in the Epsom Derby. The drop back to this trip could be a positive move.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Midterm was favourite for that Classic before blowing out in the Dante Stakes, and he was only narrowly beaten in his comeback race at Chantilly when in need of the run. He’s not to be underestimated and nor is last year’s fourth Racing History, who remains unexposed and has been working well ahead of this comeback run.

What’s the verdict?
A fascinating renewal and while Almanzor is very much the one to beat, he’s priced accordingly and you can make a case for several against him. Beyond the obvious, the one that appeals most is US ARMY RANGER. He hasn’t been at his best the last twice, admittedly, but is trained by a genius who is a master at getting horses to peak for the big occasion. Likely to be given a positive ride by Seamie Heffernan as he stays further, he won’t be easy easily passed and must have sound place prospects.

Back US Army Ranger each-way @ 16/1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 1.2.3)

Betting Tip: Us Army Ranger @ 16/1 with bet365

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