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Ground-breaking QIPCO British Champions Series under starters orders this weekend

29 Apr 2011

QIPCO 2000 Guineas launches £13m Series

Frankie Dettori with Casamento after their victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last year.  Image sourced from racingfotos.com

The QIPCO British Champions Series, a ground-breaking new premier series of British Flat horseracing, launches this weekend with one of the top-rated Flat races in the world, the historic QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

For the first time, the best of British Flat racing will be brought together in one easy-to-follow, 35-race season worth £13m in prize money, staged at ten of the finest racecourses in Britain to create an exhilarating summer calendar of Flat horseracing.

This weekend will see the start of the Series, with some of the best horses, most-talented jockeys and top trainers going head-to-head in the opening race. Frankel is the strongly-fancied favourite to emerge victorious in Saturday’s showpiece, so Round One of the QIPCO British Champions Series could prove another step forward in the unbeaten colt’s burgeoning career.  Will the horse who can allegedly outrun the Ipswich to Cambridge train on the Newmarket training grounds live up to all the hype and prove himself a true Flat racing superstar?

Victory for Frankel in the one mile QIPCO 2000 Guineas would position his trainer Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally at the top of the first leader board. However, as with all sports, the race will not necessarily be so straightforward. The unbeaten Irish raider Pathfork is fancied by many to take the honours, a result that would put Fran Berry at the top of the jockey standings and Jessica Harrington at the top of the trainer standings.

Another Irish raider, Roderic O’Connor, represents Aidan O’Brien’s powerful stable and looked like a horse with a tremendous future last season, while Casamento, Native Khan and Fury all bring top class form and very positive comments from their trainers to the race.

Frankie Dettori, the new face of the QIPCO British Champions Series, who rides Casamento in the big race, comments:

“The Series is a fantastic development for my sport and I can’t wait for the first race on Saturday. Linking together all the best races in Britain is going to create a real buzz and bring new fans to horse racing. British Flat racing is the best in the world and I’m sure this will help encourage fans of other sports to take an interest in ours.”

Following the QIPCO Guineas Festival, the Series will be played out across some of global racing’s most recognisable festivals and races, including the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom, Royal Ascot, the July Festival at Newmarket, Glorious Goodwood, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York and the Ladbrokes St Leger Meeting at Doncaster. It culminates with the creation of the richest fixture in British racing history, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, with more than £3 million in prize money.

Karl Oliver, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Limited, said: “The QIPCO British Champions Series presents the best of the best, offering world-class racing at stunning courses up and down the country. Created with the support of all of racing’s key stakeholders, it aims to ignite the interest of sports fans all over the country to experience the world’s finest Flat horseracing across 28 days of championship events, rounded off with the country’s richest ever raceday, the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on 15th October.”

The Series is divided across five championship categories, namely Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares. Each will feature the seven highest-rated races in that category and will showcase the very best of British Flat racing, bringing together the world’s finest horses, jockeys and trainers.

The Series also recently announced the crowning of a “Jockey of the Series” and “Trainer of the Series” at the QIPCO British Champions Day finale. Both championships will provide an exciting season-long narrative that fans can follow race-to-race, with leader boards updated after each race and published on this website.