All eyes and several stakes may be on the odds-on Cirrus Des Aigles ahead of the Champion Stakes at Ascot, but the seven-year-old is hardly the only show in town.
With Ladbrokes offering money back on losing bets if the 10/11 French-trained gelding wins the race for a second time in three years, value can be found further down the field in the 1m2f showdown on Britain’s richest raceday.
Specifically, the somewhat unexpected union between the 7/1 Ruler Of The World and jockey Ryan Moore could prove profitable back on British soil.
Things may not have worked out for the pair when they recently joined forces at Longchamp – where a narrow loss in the Prix Niel last month was followed by a disappointing seventh in the Arc two weeks ago – but Moore’s decision to take the ride again over his expected partnership with Sir Michael Stoute’s Hillstar tells its own story.
The three-time Champion Jockey remains Stoute’s stable rider – and is likely to be on the Queen’s horse, the Stoute-trained Estimate, in the Long Distance Cup – but the 10/1 Hillstar will be ridden by Richard Hughes in the Champion Stakes.
That allows for Moore to join Ruler Of The World at an English racecourse for the first time since the Epsom Derby success in June.
Then, as now, Aidan O’Brien’s colt was priced at 7/1 to deliver what proved to be a fourth success in the race for his trainer, who also saw this horse and jockey combination win the Group 3 Chester Vase in May.
This Group 1 represents a tougher task of course, but whilst Cirrus Des Aigles will rightly go off as a favourite to become the first seven-year-old to win this race in 126 years, the Moore-Ruler Of The World combo could be worth an each-way shout based on past successes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication