Ribchester was beaten a half&#45;length by the excellent filly Minding a year ago in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but on Saturday he is the one to beat in the last major mile race of the European season. Ribchester is one of 15 runners in the QE II, a straight&#45;course mile worth $1.3 million that&rsquo;s co&#45;featured on British Champions Day at Ascot. Ribchester and every other runner on the day could be facing challenging conditions, with the remnants of tropical storm Brian expected to bring gusty winds and wet conditions. The Ascot course was labeled good, good&#45;to&#45;soft Thursday, but the ground stands a good chance of being testing by post time (10:15 a.m. Eastern) for the QE II.Part of Ribchester&rsquo;s appeal is his ability to adapt to conditions, and he has run top races over ground good and soft. He was, however, narrowly beaten earlier this summer in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood over a soft course, and his upset vanquisher that day, Here Comes When, has a longshot chance again Saturday. Ribchester, trained by Richard Fahey for Godolphin, has put together a long, admirable campaign this year, starting his season March 25 with a solid third&#45;place finish in the $6 million Dubai Turf at Meydan Racecourse. Back in Europe, he notched Group 1 mile wins in the J.T. Lockinge, the Queen Anne, and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp along with his surprise defeat at Goodwood. Fahey said in a telephone interview last month that Ribchester was unusually hearty and had held his weight and form through the long campaign.Ribchester long has been a possible runner in the Breeders&rsquo; Cup Mile, and still could go, but that race comes just two weeks after the QE II. Fahey said earlier this week that Ribchester also is being considered for a race in Japan on Nov. 19. Jockey William Buick, injured at the time of the Moulin, is back aboard Ribchester on Saturday.An especially wet day is bad news for Churchill, who has some appeal turning back to one mile after racing about 1 1/4 miles in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Juddmonte International. Churchill, winner of the English and Irish 2000 Guineas over one mile earlier this year, managed a second&#45;place finish to Ulysses in the International, but was a non&#45;factor last out in the Irish Champion, albeit with some traffic trouble. Trainer Aidan O&rsquo;Brien has two others in the race, Sir John Lavery and Lancaster Bomber. The latter finished a solid second to World Approval last out in the Woodbine Mile and often has outperformed expectations.Andrew Balding trains Here Comes When and also sends out Beat the Bank, who has attracted a surprising amount of support for the QE II. Beat the Bank won a Group 3 over soft ground at Goodwood in July, and ran the best race of his life capturing the Group 2 Joel Stakes on Sept. 22 at Newmarket by five lengths. Al Wukair, who like fellow 3&#45;year&#45;olds Churchill and Beat the Bank gets a three&#45;pound weight break from older horses such as Ribchester, should not mind soft ground. The France&#45;based colt trained by Andre Fabre was last seen winning the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois on Aug. 13, and with only four starts this year he enters the QE II fresher than many of his rivals.Top sprinters clash againHarry Angel meets Caravaggio for the third time this year when the crack sprinters square off in the Champions Sprint over six furlongs Saturday. Caravaggio beat Harry Angel on June 23 at Ascot in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, but the career arcs of the two 3&#45;year&#45;olds have diverged. Harry Angel, trained by Clive Cox for Godolphin, came back to smack Caravaggio by 1 1/2 lengths in the July Cup at Newmarket, and racing over heavy ground last month at Haydock in the Group 1 Sprint Cup, Harry Angel was an especially impressive four&#45;length winner against legitimate opposition. Caravaggio could only finish fourth in the July Cup and took another step back when sixth of 13 in the Prix Maurice de Gheest on Aug. 6 at Deauville. Caravaggio got back on track winning the Group 2 Flying Five over soft&#45;to&#45;heavy ground last month in Ireland, but will need more to beat Harry Angel again.◗ The top&#45;class stayer Order of St George came into Group 2 Champions Long Distance Cup a year ago looking formidable after a third&#45;place finish in the Prix de l&rsquo;Arc de Triomphe, but came home a flat fourth. Expectations will be similarly high in Saturday&rsquo;s edition of the two&#45;mile race. Order of St George finished fourth this year in the Arc, comfortably gets the Long Distance Cup trip, and generally thrives on soft ground. The same cannot be said of Big Orange, who upset Order of St George three months ago in the Gold Cup at Ascot, but needs relatively firm turf to show his best.