Hanson: Spot Plays for British Champions Day at Ascot Oct. 15
The tail-end of the Group stakes offerings on Saturday's British Champions Day card at Ascot includes a couple short-priced favorites, Inspiral and Baaeed, that may not be the best to take a stand against. However, there are several competitive betting affairs with larger fields earlier in the card, and a couple horses have caught my eye as potential value plays.
British Champions Day Sprint (G1) – Race 2 (9 a.m. ET)
Although he's returning from a layoff dating back to May 21, #2 Brad the Brief (15-1) is capable fresh. After a largely discouraging 2021 campaign, the five-year-old enters this race 2-for-2 on the year after switching to Hugo Palmer. After comfortably dispensing with a prior winner of this race, Glen Shiel, in a May 7 conditions event at Haydock following a winter break, Brad the Brief returned two weeks later to score a gutsy win in the Greenlands (G2) at the Curragh. Largely kept out of action throughout the record hot summer due to the existent fast ground, Brad the Brief should get the kind of conditions he prefers in this spot and is an intriguing double-digit offering.
British Champions Fillies and Mares (G1) – Race 3 (9:40 a.m. ET)
Stablemate Emily Upjohn is the likely favorite here, but I prefer John and Thady Gosden's other three-year-old entrant, #13 Mimikyu (6-1). If this turns into even more of a test of stamina in the prevailing conditions, this progressive filly should relish it as she comes off a sterling win in the Park Hill (G2) at Doncaster, colloquially the fillies' St Leger. A full sister to Journey, who won this race in 2016, Mimikyu's beaten rivals that day included the 2021 winner of this race, Eshaada, who re-opposes. The daughter of Dubawi has done a lot of her best work on soft ground, so conditions should suit.