- Champion Stakes switched at Ascot after almost 40mm of rain fell on the course
- The Long Distance Cup and the Fillies and Mares Stakes have also been switched
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John Gosden is optimistic that Mostahdaf will run in Saturday’s £1.3million Champion Stakes after the decision was taken to switch the race to the inside hurdle track at Ascot.
It is only the second time in the 12-year history of British Champions Day that the track switch has taken place. The Long Distance Cup and the Fillies and Mares Stakes, the two other races on the round course, have also been switched.
This is allowed in the race conditions if the going description on the regular Flat track at Ascot has ‘heavy’ in it, which it does after almost 40mm of rain fell on the course in the last week.
The going on the inside track is described as good to soft (soft in places), with Gosden, who trains Mostahdaf in partnership with son Thady, hopeful it could dry out further.
Gosden, who will walk the track before racing, said: ‘He wouldn’t be running on the outer track but it is good to soft on the inner track and by tomorrow it looks likely the straight will have some good ground in it.’
John Gosden will walk the track on Saturday before making a decision on Mostahdaf
Mostahdaf, the Jim Crowley-ridden colt whose best performances have been on quicker ground, drifted to 10-1 earlier this week but he is now back to 3-1 favourite with Betfair.
He is aiming to become the first horse to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Juddmonte International stakes and the Champion Stakes in the same season.
Ascot is hoping for a crowd close to 31,000 boosted by what has been billed as Frankie Dettori’s farewell appearance in Britain. The crowd was 23,872 last year. The record for the meeting is 32,348 in 2012, when Frankel ran for the last time.