Stradivarius heads top-class cast for Champions Day
2 Oct 2019
34 Group 1 winners are on course to run at Britain's richest raceday
A star-studded cast remains on course for the ninth edition of QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 19th October after the latest forfeit stage today. Tickets are selling fast for the day with just Queen Anne Enclosure left, available here wyvsybvq
The ultimate raceday, with over £4 million worth of prize money on offer, remains on the cards for a string of headline acts including John Gosden’s star, Stradivarius who is bidding for back to back wins on Britain’s richest raceday. Also still engaged is Arc-bound Enable, together with other equine A-Listers including Advertise, Magical, Star Catcher, Benbatl, Deirdre and Anthony Van Dyck.
QIPCO British Champions Day has established itself as a wonderful finale to the European season and features four Group 1 races, a Group 2 and the richest mile handicap in Europe. In total, 34 Group 1 winners remain entered and, between them, they have accumulated 68 victories at the highest level.
Another star to remain entered at this stage is Richard Fahey’s Sands Of Mali, who is looking to retain his QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes title at Ascot on Saturday 19th October.
🏅 Richard Fahey certainly enjoyed #ChampionsDay last year as SANDS OF MALI landed the QIPCO Champions Sprint Stakes.
He’ll be back to defend his crown in 2019 and his trainer is hopeful of another big run! pic.twitter.com/l8pn1dWRN8
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 2, 2019
With two-time champion jockey Paul Hanagan on board, Sands Of Mali sprung a surprise in last year’s race, holding off former World Champion sprinter Harry Angel in the closing stages to seal victory at odds of 28-1.
Sands Of Mali has failed to rediscover that form this year but Fahey is confident his stable star is firmly on track to be back to his best on QIPCO British Champions Day.
“We’re very pleased with him, he came back from Ascot a little bit sore, a few little niggly problems that we’ve sorted,” Fahey said.
“He always works well, he’s an exceptionally good work horse. We’re happy and where we want to be at this stage.”
There have only been two horses to win races on two consecutive QIPCO British Champions Days – Frankel (2011 & 2012) and his son, Cracksman (2017 & 2018) who once again ran away with the QIPCO Champion Stakes last year earning him the rating of joint top horse in the world.
Fahey is quietly confident of Sands of Mali joining that illustrious list on the finale to the flat season.
“QIPCO British Champions Day is fantastic – it’s our flagship meeting,” Fahey said.
“It’s a Cup final day for everyone and to get a winner there last year was incredible.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what else is turning up there at the moment, but I just feel that if we get our lad back then I’m not too worried about anything.
“It was high on the priorities for this year, but we do need to get him back bouncing, which we’re not far off now.”