Series Spotlight: Mile
7 Mar 2017
In the first of a weekly five-part series, we take a look at the five categories in the QIPCO British Champions Series - starting with the Mile division.
Minding was the star of the Mile division last year. Pic:racingfotos.com
THE MILE CATEGORY
The class of 2016 took it in turns to beat each other in the Mile category. Will it be the same story this season, or will one horse take the division by the scruff of the neck?
If you were betting on it, you would imagine the seven races that comprise the division will again be shared out.
For example, Churchill, whose five wins as a two-year-old in 2016 included two Group 1 victories, is hot favourite to win the opening race of the category – the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6 – but may then move up in distance.
The unbeaten Caravaggio, another colt in the care of O’Brien, is also prominent in the 2000 Guineas betting but there are question marks over his ability to be fully effective over a mile. He could take the sprinting path.
But many of last season’s milers will be back for more.
Minding’s tremendous campaign in 2016 included victories in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. She also flourished over middle distances and her versatility means she will have a range of options.
WATCH: What a magnificent filly!
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 15, 2016
Galileo Gold won two early races in the Mile category last year – the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes – and also went close in the Sussex Stakes before his exploits seemed to catch up with him in the latter part of the campaign.
With his batteries recharged, he seems certain to again be a force for the yard of Hugo Palmer. The Lockinge, sponsored by his owners, is already a stated aim.
Frankie fever at Royal Ascot as QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold beats The Gurkha and Awtaad at Royal Ascot. https://t.co/F3QyqsU0kM
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) June 14, 2016
Ribchester, placed in the 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, appeals as the type to thrive as a four-year-old, while Lightning Spear should also make his presence felt.
With American-trained star Tepin possibly returning to defend her Queen Anne Stakes, there is much to look forward to.
THE MILE RACES
May 6: QIPCO 2000 Guineas
May 20: Al Shaqab Lockinge
June 20: Queen Anne
June 20: St James’s Palace Stakes
August 2: Qatar Sussex Stakes
October 7: Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot
October 21: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes