British Champions Long Distance Cup Guide

1. Bin Battuta

Trainer - Saeed bin Suroor

Jockey - Hector Crouch

The first runner of the Group Two contest on Saturday is Godolphin's only runner in the race Bin Battuta who has beenin both England and the UAE for the majority of his career.

During the winter he raced three times at Meydan in handicap and Group Three events performing to a good standard not finishing outside of the top three and winning one event.

His come back run from six months off the track came in a Class 2 at Chelmsford where he stayed on nicely but getting dropped into a Group One staying contest off the back of an all weather prep race gives him an uphill task to go close.

2. Capri

Trainer - Aidan O'Brien

Jockey - Seamie Heffernan

This five year old has proven staying credentials having won the St Leger back in 2017 but ever since that run has not been the same horse.

O'Brien's second string in the race has not won since 2018 being shoved into plenty of different races and just not having the same finish as he used to.

His injury at the back end of 2017 has seemed to scupper his career and looks like he will need a career best to feature in this one but does love soft conditions.

3. Cleonte

Trainer - Andrew Balding

Jockey - Silvestre De Sousa

Another out and out stayer who has been tried around this distance this season and has put in some smart performances but looks to need a lot more in these soft conditions which go against him.

His best runs have come on quick ground when landing the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the royal meeting and also when third in the 2018 Cesarewitch handicap.

Stepping into Group company again is slightly worrying for the gelding but two starts ago he was second to Stradivarius in the Doncaster Cup and has won over course and distance at Ascot before which are big positives.

4. Kew Gardens

Trainer - Aidan O'Brien

Jockey - Donnacha O'Brien

Kew Gardens looks the big challenger to Stradivarius at the weekend with the four year old winning some stellar races in his career and now primed for a big run over this distance.

The colt landed the 2018 St Leger beating some smart horses but has also the Group One Grand Prix du Paris and the group Two Queen's Vase.

He has been second on all three of his runs this season but it looks as if the step up in trip will bring extra out of him and should give a bold showing.

5. Max Dynamite

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Oisin Murphy

The old veteran Max Dynamite is always a consistent performer in these staying events for Willie Mullins but does not look to have the same amount of ability as he did when he was younger.

Now nine years of age the gelding has seen nearly everything possible in the sport mixing between hurdles and the flat for the most part of his career.

Three starts ago he won a small fielded event at Killarney but since then has always been chasing shadows and it looks like it will be the same in this race.

6. Mekong

Trainer - Sir Micahel Stoute

Jockey - Jim Crowley

Mekong is another we are very fond of and if running to form has a huge chance having proven staying credentials and racing twice on heavy ground and winning both.

He does not have much Group One form which is a negative but getting the ground he has been wanting for along time could be the difference for this horse and Sir Michael Stoute's record at Ascot speaks for itself.

One to note from an each way perspective.

7. Royal Line

Trainer - John Gosden

Jockey - Robert Havlin

John Gosden's second string is a very lightly raced five year old that is stepping up to this marathon trip for the first time but if handling that is proven on soft and can run a big race.

He has won three of his last four races including a 23 runner handicap on soft ground at Doncaster over 1 mile 4 furlongs and last time out got off the mark for the season in the Group Three September Stakes at Kempton.

Enable won that race the season before and then went on to win the Arc, it could act as a nice prep run for this contest.

8. Stradivarius

Trainer - John Gosden

Jockey - Frankie Dettori

Gosden's stable star is unbeaten in his last 10 races and was last seen having a challenger pass him back in October 2017 on British Champions Day but the five year old stayer is looking to keep his winning run going.

Stradivarius in the last two seasons has scooped the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million and was sure not be seen again until Ascot where he would round off his season in style but the horse came out of the Lonsdale Cup at York in good order and headed to Town Moor for the Doncaster Cup where again he won with ease.

The horse of a lifetime is now said to be right on track ahead of his run in the Group Two contest where he is looking to extend his unbeaten run to 11 but his trainer is very wary of how the ground will look on the day.

He is odds on favourite to take the spoils for the second season in a row and did win the race last year on soft ground, overcoming not his ideal surface to prevail in what looked one of his toughest wins for a while and surely he goes on to do it again.

9. Withhold

Trainer - Roger Charlton

Jockey - Jason Watson

Withhold enters calculations off the basis of his staying ability but is another who lacks Group One form and could find some a bit to good here.

He has won two of his three races to date this season with his first coming at Newbury in the Class 2 Marsh Cup and on his last run in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes he scored again over two miles.

Soft ground is not his preferred surface but he is not to be ruled out.

10. South Pacific

Trainer - Aidan O'Brien

Jockey - Sean Levey

The final runner of the race is South Pacific for the Ballydoyle maestro with a strange jockey booking of Sean Levey who does not normally ride for O'Brien .

The three year old colt two starts ago won at Royal Ascot in the King George V Stakes on good to soft ground but when upped to two miles did not stay and needs to be much better to have any chance in this one.