Sky Sports Racing's Hayley Moore guides you through the leading fancies in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
It looks set to be a cracking curtain-raiser. The conditions look like they're going to be on the testing side ahead of this year's Champions Day so horses that act on ground on the extreme side, heavy, will be the ones to follow.
The Tin Man will be looking for another success in the race after winning it in 2016. Sands Of Mali looks like he'll have similar conditions which saw him to be successful in the race last year. Advertise has had a profitable season since being kept at sprinting distances, he's also proven to be versatile on the ground and his record at Ascot is another positive.
Many of the runners have taken each other on many times and reverse form with one another so it'll be a case of who's in best heart on the day and who can go further than the six furlongs as they'll really need to see it out.
He was tried in the 2000 Guineas at the start of the Flat season after finishing second to Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst on his final start at two but failed to shape up into a miler when the Martyn Meade stable were under a cloud. Sprinting has since been made his game.
The three-year-old son of Showcasing is edging towards the £1m mark in earnings already. He will face the most extreme conditions he's ever lined up on in his nine-race career so far, but there is hope he will handle these conditions as his mother Furbelow is by Pivotal.
He won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on good to soft ground and stayed on well over the six furlongs when the blinkers went on for the first time. He then came out and ran a great race in behind a revived Ten Sovereigns, who turned the form around with Advertise in the July Cup on quick ground.
Advertise was back in the winning groove at Deauville over six-and-a-half furlongs in August when we last saw him in action when beating Brando by a neck.
Advertise in top form for Champions Sprint
Martyn Meade believes Advertise is in the form of his life ahead of the six-furlong contest at Ascot
Connections have had to avoid the Haydock Sprint Cup, after a bad scope and have swerved the Prix de la Foret so hopefully he'll be seen to his best on British Champions Day with this potential race as his final swansong ahead of a stallion career.
Trainer Kevin Ryan is well represented with Hello Youmzain and seven-year-old Brando. The son of Pivotal has had another good season and is generally consistent. He's a horse that has decent form on ground with ease in it and he runs well at Ascot. Like The Tin Man, he isn't getting any younger but he is tough.
The worry is that last time out he burst a blood-vessel after travelling well through the Sprint Cup at Haydock, then picked up before being beaten for third by Waldpfad. Maybe he wasn't right that day, but I'd be concerned off the back of that.
Roger Varian's son of Shamardal is showing a real liking for the track, four victories at Ascot and three this season, he took the Victoria Cup in May over seven furlongs on good to soft. He then won the Wokingham over six furlongs on good to firm. He flopped at Newmarket in the July Cup at the top level which is a worry, but it was firm and away from Ascot.
He then ran well for third-place finish in the Group 2 City of York stakes before getting back to winning ways again at Ascot in the Group 2 Bengough Stakes over six furlongs on soft ground. He is a real Ascot specialist which could see him be competitive at the top level here.
DREAM OF DREAMS
Dream Of Dreams lined up in the race last year and only beat one home. Since then he started the season well with wins at Chelmsford and Windsor. It was his third start of the season, in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes where he was behind Blue Point by a head, which would give him a chance here.
He's by Dream Ahead and has some good form on soft ground but he will need a revival after his most recent run which was eighth and well behind Hello Youmzain at Haydock. His run after Royal Ascot at Newmarket in the July Stakes never saw him figure either. Hopefully Ascot will bring him back on the right track.
The son of Kodiac only started racing in August last year and is already a winner four times from seven starts including at the highest level when taking the Haydock Sprint Cup ahead of The Tin Man, when he was the fifth three-year-old to win the race in the last six years.
He came in to that race fresh and won it from the front. The target after Haydock was always British Champions Day at Ascot in the hope he'd have his desired ground.
Hello Youmzain was previously third to Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup - he was slightly unsettled in the stalls so was slow away and ended up settling towards the rear before showing a good turn of foot to join the leaders yet just didn't quite have enough kick in the final furlong.
However, we know he'll love the ground so he could well reverse the form with Advertise. He is still very unexposed and runs consistently well for a sprinter in his short career so far.
MAKE A CHALLENGE
Comes into this with terrific recent form after a very comfortable success in the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday with a sixth victory of the year when pulling clear by a four-and-a-half lengths.
A supplementary entry into the race may see him line up after the most progressive season, rising through the ranks with an ever-increasing handicap mark and a proven liking for testing ground conditions.
Make A Challenge started the season rated 66 for Denis Hogan and can now boast a mark of 109. A nicely bred son of invincible spirit from Godolphin which cost these connections just £6,500 from the sales.
He's a horse of a lifetime for connections and reminds you that anyone can dream when buying a racehorse. It would be a fairytale ending if he runs well, let alone wins but he will now need a career best.
After a 63-day break we saw her back in action for William Haggas over at Longchamp on Arc day due to lack of opportunities over seven furlongs at Group 1 level in the UK.
Thankfully, waiting and heading to France was the right move as she kept on well to take the Prix de la Foret ahead of City Light in what was a competitive renewal to make it back-to-back successes in the race for this for the daughter of Fastnet Rock.
Very soft ground generally brings out her best performances, so connections are patient as to where she runs, and Saturday's conditions are what she relishes.
Clearly One Master is thriving at the moment and she heads in to the race in terrific form after a good season so far (including third in the Queen Anne Stakes and second in the Falmouth Stakes) but her best run was last time out. We know she'll keep going over the six furlongs.
SANDS OF MALI
We've not seen much of last year's winner this season and for that reason you can back him at a decent price. However, back to Ascot and on ground which brings out the best of him then we could see him bounce back.
THE TIN MAN
Fourth on his first run in this race as a three-year-old behind Muhaarar and he was then successful in the race in 2016 giving trainer James Fanshawe his second victory in the contest after Deacon Blues won in 2011.
He was then fifth in 2017 when Librisa Breeze won and only seventh behind Sands Of Mali when sent off favourite in last year's renewal. He is lining up for the fifth time in the race and he comes into it in good form after a decent run on his last start.
The Tin Man stumbled out of the stalls at Haydock and had to go down in defeat when he couldn't quite reel in Hello Youmzain on soft ground after disappointing at Newbury in July. The Tin Man has had some stalls practice recently so hopefully he'll be sharper away at Ascot.
He is a classy sprinter who will relish the conditions, he won the Group 1 Sprint Cup in September 2018 on heavy ground so the more testing the better and he comes in to the race off the back of a smart piece of work on the newly reopened trial ground in Newmarket. No doubt we'll be seeing him produced late under champion jockey elect Oisin Murphy.
ONE MASTER has been running well all season and on ground too quick for her than ideal. Last year after she won at Longchamp she headed to Churchill Downs where she ran a good race in defeat for fifth place behind Expert Eye. This year connections once again have options but seem keen to bring her to Ascot which I fully respect. She will need to reverse the form with Advertise and Brando from Deauville in August, but I feel in these conditions that won't be a problem and she'll get her domestic Group 1 at a track that she has won at and also been placed.