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Balmoral Handicap: Runners and Riders

The final piece of the Champions Day jigsaw at Ascot on Saturday afternoon is the Balmoral Handicap, the sole handicap on the card.

Run over the straight mile at Ascot, it's a 20-runner cavalry charge with a top prize of just over £100k awaiting the winner.

British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday afternoon is the culmination of the Flat season and it's a stunning six-race card that includes four Group 1s with the very best horses, jockeys and trainers competing for £4 million in prize money, making this Britain's richest raceday.

Here's our look at the runners and riders for the Balmoral Handicap.

WhatBalmoral Handicap
WhereAscot Racecourse, Berkshire
When4.25, Saturday 21st October 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV, Sky Sports Racing & Racing TV
OddsDocklands 6/1, Sonny Liston 7/1, Migration 8/1, Baradar 8/1, Awaal 11/1

1. Migration

Current Odds – 8/1
Jockey – Benoit de la Sayette
Trainer – David Menuisier

Started the season by winning the Lincoln at Doncaster on heavy ground carrying top-weight, has had only one outing since in a Group 3 at Newmarket in May. Goes fresh and conditions are fine, but has a heavy burden to carry again.

2. Raadobarg 

Current Odds – 16/1
Jockey – Rossa Ryan 
Trainer – George Boughey

Five-time winner in his career and the majority of those have come on testing ground. He has been running admirable races in Listed/Group 3 company all season, but is perhaps still too high in ratings now back handicapping.

3. Sonny Liston

Current Odds – 7/1
Jockey – Ryan Moore
Trainer – Ralph Beckett

Only one win in 13 so far, but some exceptional efforts in defeat include second in the Hunt Cup over C&D in June and runner-up in one-mile soft-ground Doncaster handicap at last month's St Leger Festival. Ryan Moore rides this time. 

4. Baradar 

Current Odds – 8/1
Jockey – William Buick
Trainer – George Boughey

Course winner over 7f in July on good ground and defied a 4lb rise to win since at Doncaster's Leger Festival on soft ground over a slightly shorter trip. Hasn't convinced that a mile is what he wants.

5. Al Mubhir 

Current Odds – 12/1
Jockey – Tom Marquand
Trainer – William Haggas

Soft-ground winner over this trip at Leicester in April, having run fourth behind Migration in the Lincoln on comeback. Held his form since and a close third in Listed Newbury race over 7f last month.

6. Awaal 

Current Odds – 11/1
Jockey – James Doyle
Trainer – Simon & Ed Crisford 

Second in the Lincoln behind Migration on his comeback this season and third here in the Hunt Cup in June. Beaten favourite in a Listed Redcar contest over 7f latest start and will handle testing conditions.

7. Bopedro

Current Odds – 16/1
Jockey – Danny Tudhope
Trainer – David O'Meara

Experienced gelding, winner at Newmarket in August over this trip and another fine showing there since in the bet365 Cambridgeshire over nine-furlongs. Acts on soft ground. 

8. Blue For You

Current Odds – 20/1
Jockey – Paul Mulrennan
Trainer – David O'Meara

York winner over this trip in the summer and while he is 0-4 at Ascot in the past, he was an eye-catcher in the Howden Cup over 7f here recently when coming from a long way back.

9. Docklands 

Current Odds – 6/1
Jockey – Hayley Turner 
Trainer – Harry Eustace

Rapid progress in handicaps saw him justifying favouritism in the Britannia Stakes over C&D (good-to-firm) in June, having also won on soft previously here. Tackled a Group 3 at Goodwood in one run since and can go well back here.

10. Helm Rock 

Current Odds – 33/1
Jockey – Richard Kingscote 
Trainer – Daniel & Claire Kubler

More prolific on the all-weather, as evidenced with wins at Newcastle and Kempton early in the autumn. Handles cut in the ground, but a recent Haydock fifth suggests this mark is asking a lot.

11. Coeur D'or

Current Odds – 16/1
Jockey – Chris Hayes
Trainer – Dermot Weld 

Dubawi gelding has three wins and two placed efforts in Ireland this season over similar trips to this and might just have been stretched by 1m2f in €90k Curragh handicap last month. Needs a career-best here, however.

12. Rhoscolyn 

Current Odds – 14/1
Jockey – Jason Watson
Trainer – David O'Meara 

Very experienced 5YO has won three times since August, all of them on testing ground at 7f/1m. Ran well here over 7f a fortnight ago under a penalty and a return to this trip suits. Twice beaten in this race before.

13. Ropey Guest

Current Odds – 40/1
Jockey – Tom Queally 
Trainer – George Margarson

In good tune lately, winning at Goodwood in May and York in August, making this his best season so far. Latest handicap mark is no barrier and has form on heavy ground, so dangerous to discount him.

14. Bennetot 

Current Odds – 33/1
Jockey – Neil Callan
Trainer – David O'Meara 

Lightly-raced French winner, sent off 28/1 on stable bow at Haydock (1m, heavy) last month and was beaten 23 lengths. 

15. The Gatekeeper 

Current Odds – 50/1
Jockey – Joe Fanning
Trainer – Charlie Johnston 

Has been very consistent this season, especially on soft ground, winning at Goodwood over this trip in late August.

Was two-lengths fourth back there since behind Rhoscolyn off this mark, having raced too keenly early on.

16. Dual Identity 

Current Odds – 20/1
Jockey – Jim Crowley
Trainer – William Knight 

Sandown winner over 1m2f on penultimate start and didn't run badly in the bet365 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket since, but faces a stiff task from this mark over a mile.

17. Dancing Magic 

Current Odds – 16/1
Jockey – Oisin Murphy 
Trainer – Roger Teal

Still a maiden after ten starts, but has run respectably in Group-race company at times this season and now makes a handicap debut after undergoing wind surgery.

18. Lattam 

Current Odds – 20/1
Jockey – Cieren Fallon
Trainer – William Knight

Winner of the Irish Lincolnshire in March on very testing ground and has run well in recent starts at Goodwood and York off this mark. More on his plate in first-time cheekpieces in this field.

19. Vetiver 

Current Odds – 20/1
Jockey – PJ McDonald 
Trainer – Andrew Balding

Progressive filly who won a Listed race at Carlisle in June on soft ground over 7f and placed in Doncaster Group 3 last month. Comprehensive winner on only start at this mile trip and could have more to give. 

20. Eilean Dubh 

Current Odds – 40/1
Jockey – Clifford Lee 
Trainer – Karl Burke 

Hamilton winner in July over a similar trip in first-time tongue-tie, but has come up short in valuable handicaps at Glorious Goodwood and Newmarket more recently and this is another big ask in first-time cheekpieces.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

British Champions Day

Balmoral Handicap

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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