Gosden hopes Jack Hobbs will complete a champion season

JACK THE LAD: Jack Hobbs, who is chasing Champions Day glory at Ascot tomorrow, parades at the Rowley Mile at Newmarket earlier in the season
JACK THE LAD: Jack Hobbs, who is chasing Champions Day glory at Ascot tomorrow, parades at the Rowley Mile at Newmarket earlier in the season

Newmarket-based trainer John Gosden will be hoping that Jack Hobbs can conclude a memorable season by claiming the Champions Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Runner-up to esteemed stable companion Golden Horn in the Dante at York and the Derby at Epsom, the Godolphin-owned horse enjoyed his day in the sun when clinching Classic glory at the Curragh in late June.

Gosden’s charge made a successful return to action in the September Stakes at Kempton and is set to drop to a mile-and-a-quarter for the main event on Champions Day, which sees a staggering £4.1 million up for grabs in prize money.

The Clarehaven handler has also left in potential pacemaker Maverick Wave.

Gosden, whose marvellous summer continues to shine along with the autumn sun, is confident Jack Hobbs can live up to his favourite tag.

“He has looked freshened up in the last week and I have been pleased with him, “ said Gosden when the five-day entries were revealed live from Tattersalls in Newmarket on Monday lunchtime.

“There is a tough line up but for me the key will be the draw on a course that has fast bends.

“His best distance is over a mile-and-a-quarter as was his father’s and so we are happy with the distance.

“We liked him a lot when we bought him and we have been delighted with how well he has worked out.”

Fellow Newmarket trainers James Fanshawe and David Simcock also have entries in the big race with Ribbons and The Corsican respectively.

Simcock, who trains out of the Trillium Place Stables in Newmarket, has not ruled out The Corsican springing a major surpirse.

Although it will be a tall order for his charge, Simcock said: “He is best on fast ground and so with the conditions looking good we are just looking forward to the race.

“Jack Hobbs is the standout horse and by far way above the other horses.

“However the race is not a formality for any horse. It has been a long season for everyone and you just never know on the day.”

Elsewhere in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Roger Varian’s Belardo will go head-to-head with fellow Newmarket-based trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s Integral.

In the British Championships Sprint Stakes, Fanshawe will be hoping for a win from The Tin Man but faces a stiff test from Marco Botti’s Naadirr.

Simcock’s Madame Chiang will defend her Fillies and Mare Stakes crown, but comes up against Hugo Palmer’s highly-fancied Covert Love and Fanshawe’s Speedy Boarding.

Palmer backed his horse to challenge for victory, saying: “She likes to go forward so we would happy to take the lead at any stage and see what happens from there,” he said.

In the Long Distance Cup, Gosden’s Flying Officer will come up against Botti’s Suegioo and Fanshawe’s Gale Force, while GM Hopkins will carry his hopes in the Balmoral Handicap race.