Talking Horses: Champions Day promises much despite Starman retirement

By: Greg Wood Monday 11 October 2021

Eleventh staging set to benefit from recent settled weather and a jockeys’ title race that could go down to the wire

The news on Monday morning that Starman, the July Cup winner, has been retired after suffering a setback in training was a disappointing way to start the run-in to Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, not least as Ed Walker’s sprinter missed the Royal meeting in June due to soft going but, thanks to the vagaries of the British weather, seemed likely to get much better ground at the same track in mid-October.

Starman is Europe’s top-rated sprinter this season thanks to his convincing success at Newmarket in July and on Sunday evening he was the 4-1 favourite for the Champions Sprint. While the Ascot card will be the poorer without him, though, in many other respects, the 11th Champions Day promises to be one of the best to date.

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