Ten reasons why the 2019 Champions Series will be epic
1 Jan 2019
The cast for this summer will include Enable, Sea Of Class, Stradivarius and Too Darn Hot
Enable will seek to add to her seven wins at the highest level this year. Picture: Racingfotos.com
Happy New Year! Here are ten reasons why this year’s 35-race QIPCO British Champions Series, starting with the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4 and ending with the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 19, will be an epic.
The Kingman colt was a runaway winner on his Newmarket debut and, just ten days later, followed up in the Coventry at Royal Ascot despite being seemingly drawn on the “wrong” side. Injury then cut short his season but expect him to make up for lost time, either over sprint distances or a mile.
The fabulous filly becomes a marvellous mare today (all horses have their birthdays on January 1st) and we cannot wait to see where connections campaign her. She already has seven wins at the highest level on her decorated CV (three of them in Champions Series races) and races such as the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Juddmonte International, are likely to come into the reckoning.
Golden Horn’s offspring in action:
Golden Horn was dazzling in 2015 when his exploits included winning the Investec Derby, Coral-Eclipse and Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This year we get to see what his first crop of youngsters are capable of. Golden Horn had a penchant for munching on his own tale – it may not be a bad sign if any of his progeny do likewise.
Owner John Dance could have sold Laurens for a fortune at the end of last season because breeders would love to get their hands on his five-time Group 1 winner. However, he has decided to race on with her and we should all be grateful. The Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot would seem a likely target.
The homebred mare was a model of consistency in all of last year’s top five-furlong races and sets the bar high for the out-and-out speedsters. Her exploits included finishing third in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and being beaten a nose by Alpha Delphini in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. Nobody begrudged her landing the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp in October.
One of the disappointments of last year was that Masar picked up an injury was unable to race after his decisive success in the Investec Derby. Winners at Epsom who race on beyond their three-year-old career are rare but Sheikh Mohammed clearly believes his colt has unfinished business and Charlie Appleby, the trainer, has already said he would relish a clash with Enable.
Sea Of Class:
The daughter of Sea The Stars was unraced as a two-year-old but made up for lost time in 2018 with highlights being her last-to-first triumphs in the Darley Irish Oaks and Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York. She also ran a blinder when beaten a short neck by Enable in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. A rematch at some stage in the Series will be worth going a long way to see.
Became only the second horse, after Frankel in 2012, to win five Champions Series races in a season last year. He now has a total of six to his name and who is to say he won’t match or even pass the nine that Frankel managed in 2011 and 2012. Expect a similar campaign to last year and, perhaps, a historic third success in the Qatar Goodwood Cup triumph after he has defended his Gold Cup crown.
Three races in the space of little more than a month brought three wins for the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt. The manner in which he fended off Jash, another exciting youngster, in the Group One Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket in late September (pair clear) suggests he will make his mark in the Champions Series sooner rather than later.
Too Darn Hot:
It is fair to say he sizzled as a juvenile with the promise of burning off all-comers in the year ahead. Won his four races last term by an aggregate of 15 and a half lengths – with his decisive win in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes confirming his status as champion two-year-old. Looks a worthy favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and, after that, we can have a proper debate about whether he will stay the trip in the Investec Derby.