Plethora of stars targeting QIPCO British Champions Day
21 Aug 2011
There may still be eight weeks to go, but already the sense of anticipation is growing as a whole host of stars from this year's Flat racing season are reported to be on course for the richest raceday in British history at Ascot on Saturday 15 October.
Frankel, seen here parading after his QIPCO Sussex Stakes triumph, will be joined by a host of other stars on QIPCO British Champions Day. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
The list of equine stars on course for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, the richest raceday in British history and the climax of the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Series, is growing by the day.
Wonder horse Frankel is already being targeted at the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO, by far the most valuable mile race ever to be staged in Europe, and his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, revealed this week that Twice Over and Midday, first and second in Wednesday’s Juddmonte International Stakes, would now be freshened up ahead of their next target, the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes over ten furlongs.
That illustrious trio have won 14 Group One races between them and victory in the two big races on QIPCO British Champions Day would surely secure Cecil not only the Trainer of the Series award, but also the UK’s Champion Trainer title.
If that was not enough, he is also targeting Vita Nova, who finished a fine second to Blue Bunting in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, at the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Could she help him notch up a fantastic QIPCO British Champions Day hat-trick? For all Sir Henry Cecil fans, coming to Ascot on 15 October is a must!
The opposition promises to be red hot, however.
In the QIPCO Champion Champion Stakes, the smart money is on Aidan O’Brien’s ten furlong star, the ex-Australian champion So You Think, lining up against Twice Over and Midday. What a race that would be!
So You Think’s first target is the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday 3 September, but the QIPCO Champion Stakes would be the logical next step for the Coral-Eclipse Stakes winner.
Don’t rule out King George hero Nathaniel turning up too. He will run first in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday 2 October and although the QIPCO Champion Stakes is only 13 days later, his trainer, John Gosden, has definitely not ruled out him running in both.
In the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the fast-improving Excelebration, who destroyed the opposition in Frankel-like manner at Newbury last time, could take his chance, while star filly Immortal Verse, so impressive in winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in her last two starts, could yet make the journey from France.
Those two could provide a serious test for Frankel.
Blue Bunting could yet try to extend her QIPCO British Champions Series victories to three by taking in the QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies & Mares Stakes, while top class sprinters like Dream Ahead, Society Rock, Deacon Blues and Hoof It could all feature in the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint.
In the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, Opinion Poll is very much the horse to beat following his second successive victory in the Long Distance division at York this afternoon, while the horse he narrowly beat, Duncan, might re-oppose him at Ascot.
An advance sell-out on QIPCO British Champions Day is expected, with tickets selling very quickly. There’s a 10% advance booking discount until the end of September with greater discounts for group bookings.
To book via Ascot now, CLICK HERE.