The 2021 flat racing season is almost at an end, and we have witnessed truly outstanding performances over the course of the campaign.
Snowfall delivered one of the great performances at The Oaks to win the crown by a record-breaking margin. Poetic Flare was exceptional at the 2,000 Guineas to win the first British Classic of the term before being beaten at The Derby by a fine run from Adayar.
Fortunately for racing enthusiasts across the United Kingdom, Ireland, and beyond, there are top contests still on the docket for the flat season. We’ll now look at the best ones and give our tips for which horses could emerge on top.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
This promises to be a duel between two brilliant competitors in the form of Palace Pier and Baaeed. Hopefully, both John & Thady Gosden and William Haggas put their respective charges into the race. Palace Pier is the leading contender in the horse racing betting odds for the meet in October at Ascot given his flawless record in the 2021 season.
However, you should be checking the horse racing predictions for the form of Baaeed for the race as he has been just as good over the course of the term. Palace Pier might have the slide edge after recording a victory at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes along with triumphs in the Lockinge Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. Baaeed will be a tough opponent, so we should be in for a cracker, but our money is on Palace Pier.
St Mark’s Basilica is the presumptive favourite for the contest, although he does have an injury scare after being withdrawn from the International Stakes at the Ebor Festival. Aiden O’Brien’s charge has been sensational this term in all three of his contests, including the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park. He has the pedigree to storm to success, but his fitness could place those hopes in jeopardy.
Mishriff was the horse to capitalise on his absence at York as he claimed the victory in the International Stakes, beating out Alenquer by six lengths. Mishriff is a talented horse, but not quite of the calibre of St Mark’s Basilica at the peak of his powers. The interesting pick could be Adayar, who won The Derby, the King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He has a good price in the ante-post, and might be worth a shout to end his season for Charlie Appleby on a high note.
Long Distance Cup
Stradivarius etched his place in history by winning the Lonsdale Cup for the third time. The great horse just had enough to beat out Spanish Mission on the line by a head. The question for John & Thady Gosden is whether Stradivarius has enough left in the tank for another run at glory in the Long Distance Cup. He won the event in 2018, but lost out by a nose in 2018 and was well off the pace last season, finishing in 12th out of 13 competitors.
The defending champion Trueshan was unavailable for the Lonsdale Cup, but he should be fit enough to return at Ascot. He was outstanding in the Goodwood Cup Stakes, and should be on form again in the Long Distance Cup. Princess Zoe and Search For A Song are alternative options. However, the battle will be between Trueshan and Stradivarius, which the former might just edge.
These three races will capture the attention more than most towards the end of the campaign. We should be treated to three special contests between the elite of the flat discipline.