When she bids to crown an fantastic campaign star Catcher is a hot favourite to supply an third Champions Day success in so many years to Anthony Oppenheimer.
The leading owner-breeder has seen his colours carried in the past two renewals of the Champion Stakes by the colorful Cracksman – and can return to Ascot hopeful of further glory.
Star Catcher has won four of the five starts so far this season – by landing the Ribblesdale in Royal Ascot, the Irish Oaks at the Curragh and the Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp completing a.
The girl of Sea The Stars is well fancied to bring a Group One the weekend, however, Oppenheimer is taking nothing for granted.
He explained:”I expect she’s got a great chance, but you have got the Oaks winner in there, who won a Group One final time, so it’s no pushover.
”I am told she worked really well earlier in the week. The ground is not likely to be soft on the course because it is. She goes on the floor that is decent and soft, but wouldn’t want it thick.
”She stays in practice next year, so she will only run if Mr Gosden is pleased with the ground.
”It would be fantastic to have a different winner on Champions Day. Let us see what happens.”
Anapurna was off the trail for more than three months after her Classic victory at Epsom and could only finish seventh behind Star Catcher after falling traffic problems on her comeback run in the Vermeille.
When enrolling a straightforward win she revealed her true colours in her return to Paris a fortnight ago.
Mark Weinfeld of owners Helena Springfield Ltd stated:”It’s nice to be heading up there on the back of a win after what happened to her in the Vermeille. The Vermeille was a non-event for her, therefore she did to bounce back time back.
”What she showed there was that she manages soft ground very well and has lots of endurance, so that is not an issue, but what could be is that she is coming back fairly fast.
”She did have a mid-summer break, however.”
Gosden has a string on his bow in Sparkle Roll.
Aidan O’Brien has claimed this prize with Magical and Hydrangea in each of the previous two seasons respectively.
This year the Ballydoyle handler establishes a four-pronged assault, together with Fleeting (Donnacha O’Brien) and Delphinia (Seamie Heffernan) apparently his two main contenders, ahead of South Sea Pearl (Sean Levey) and also Pink Dogwood (Pierre-Charles Boudot).
O’Brien said:”Both the Fleeting along with Delphina were next in Group Ones in their last starts. It’s pretty incredible that Fleeting hasn’t won one yet. She is in good form and ran a excellent race in Longchamp (second in Prix de l’Opera). We have not done but she seems.
”Delphina also conducted a great race at Longchamp the last day (second to Anapurna) within a tiny bit further, but she appears to be in good form too.
”We are a little bit lost with Pink Dogwood and also we can’t place our hands on why her form has gone backwards, but she is working nicely and was second in the Oaks.”
Coaches have their series in form than Ralph Beckett, that saddles Antonia De Vega. Since asserting a Listed prize at Newbury in 18, the three-year-old has not yet been viewed in competitive action.
”She also did a nice bit of work at Kempton a week and we think she is prepared,” said Beckett.
”The floor will probably be right up her street – it could not rain enough to her.
”I am hopeful she will run well. The attraction (10) is not perfect, but we can’t help that.
”She’s very under-raced and I am hopeful there’s somewhat more to come. She moves there nice and fresh.”
Beckett had five winners last Saturday, also added:”We had a tricky spring, it was not going well and we struck a tiny blip in July if they were not running nicely. Saturday gave us a thrill and it is almost always a good idea to finish off your season well.”
The William Haggas-trained Klassique is an intriguing outsider, with once finished out of the three in 10 starts.
She had been seen placing third at a Group Two at Deauville in August.
”Klassique conducted well in France last time, but was a bit flat. She loves the soft and we deliberately set her off,” explained Haggas.
”She is an outsider, and it has got a bit to find on form. If she can complete in the first four, then we will be delighted.”