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Punters pile into mud-lover The Revenant with Ascot straight track riding heavy

The Revenant was a major mover across the board on Sunday for Saturday's Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as punters latched on to the fact that it is already riding heavy on Ascot's straight course and the forecast for the week is unsettled. 

Francis Graffard's recent Prix Daniel Wildenstein winner was a 10-1 chance in a place in the morning, but his odds shortened as the day went on and by late afternoon he was only 7-2 in places.

Michael Shinners of SkyBet said: "We were 8-1 overnight but with the ground on the straight course already testing and the forecast so unsettled, you can see why the money came for him once he was confirmed an intended runner."

Ladbrokes also cut The Revenant to 4-1 but spokeswoman Nicola McGeady was more inclined to attribute it to sensible precautions rather than weight of money.

She said: "It looks as if a lot of races will cut up and we have shortened up all soft-ground horses that are likely to run. The Revenant was one of the more notable ones at 4-1 from 6-1, but, rather than money, he's a horse we really like and want to keep on side."

The Revenant was winning for the sixth time in succession when an impressive four-and-a-half length winner from Olmedo at Longchamp last Saturday, and that was his eighth win from only ten starts in a career that began with a Haydock novice success for Hugo Palmer as a two-year-old.

Graffard, who has booked Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Pierre-Charles Boudot for The Revenant once again, said: "If he remains well through the week, then he will run Saturday. He has come out of Longchamp really well and I’m very happy with him.

"He is very good when the ground gets deep but he won on good at Baden-Baden. This is his main end-of-year target and he’ll run whatever the ground."

Graffard has already had a Group 1 Ascot winner this year, courtesy of Watch Me in the Coronation Stakes, and his Bateel went close on Champions Day two years ago, finishing second to Hydrangea when favourite for the Fillies & Mares Stakes.

William Haggas is another with key runners who will enjoy the ground. His Royal Ascot and Haydock winner Addeybb is now favourite in some lists and no better than a 9-2 chance for the Champion Stakes, while Prix de la Foret winner One Master is as short as 6-1 (from 10) for the British Champions Sprint.

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