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A year of British Champions Series – 2011

25 Mar 2020

New series remembering the highlights of QIPCO British Champions Series seasons, starting with an unforgettable 2011

Each week we take a look back through the archives and dig out some of the most memorable moments of previous British Champions Series Seasons.  We start with where it all began, 2011, which was all about the emergence of a racing legend…

30th April 2011 – Newmarket, QIPCO 2000 Guineas

The late Sir Henry Cecil took his promising, unbeaten colt Frankel to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile for the first Classic of the season. Nobody was quite prepared for the what many would dub the performance of a lifetime…

1st May 2011 – Newmarket, QIPCO 1000 Guineas

The following day it was all about Godolphin and Frankie Dettori as Blue Bunting flew home on the stand side to get up in the final strides to claim the Fillies Classic.

Blue Bunting

Blue Bunting and Frankie Dettori after winning The Quipco 1000 Guineas Stakes

3rd June 2011 – Epsom Downs, Epsom Oaks

In the Classic for fillies at Epsom, Dancing Rain caused an upset in the Epsom Oaks as she made all to land the spoils at odds of 20/1 under a canny ride by Johnny Murtagh.

Dancing Rain

4th June 2011 – Epsom Downs, Epsom Derby

One of the most outrageous finishes to a Classic in living memory, the Epsom Derby was plundered in eye-opening style by the French team of Pour Moi, Mickael Barzalona and Andre Fabre.

The real headline-maker was 19-year-old jockey Barzelona who, having, produced his mount with precision timing to swoop home for the win in the last 50 yards, proceeded to stand up and celebrate 10 yards from the finishing line Needless to say he would have been in A LOT of trouble had Pour Moi not got up to lead in the dying strides.

14th June 2011 – Royal Ascot, St James’s Palace Stakes

Without doubt the race in which Frankel’s unbeaten status and growing legend was given its biggest test to date. A change of race tactics saw rider Tom Queally kick for home on the long odds-on favourite with some three furlongs still to travel; Frankel’s unparalleled burst of speed took him well clear of the field in little time and he raced on down the home straight in splendid isolation… for the most part.

As the champion miler entered the last half-furlong, the early move began to seemingly take its toll as the horse slowed dramatically allowing his rivals to close in on an unlikely victory. Under Queally’s urgings the colt managed to cling on from the fast-finishing Zoffany, but many were left wondering how much petrol was left in the seemingly bottomless Frankel’s tank.

16th June 2011 – Royal Ascot, Gold Cup

Elsewhere during the Royal meeting, the well-backed favourite Fame And Glory powered home under Jamie Spencer in the Ascot Gold Cup. He stayed on stoutly to beat Opinion Poll by 3 lengths.

9th July 2011 – Newmarket, July Cup

History was made on Newmarket’s July course as Hayley Turner became the first outright female rider to win a Group One race as Dream Ahead came home in fine style.

27th July 2011 – Goodwood, QIPCO Sussex Stakes

In what was dubbed the ‘Duel On The Downs’ between the still unbeaten Frankel and multiple Group 1 winner Canford Cliffs, it was Sir Henry Cecil’s superstar who unleashed a devastating turn of foot leaving his rival for dead and the crowd simply in awe.

12th September 2011 – Doncaster, Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes

Jockey William Buick recorded back-to-back Ladbrokes St Legers as he partnered the John Gosden-trained Masked Marvel to victory. The pair running out cosy winners after making a very decisive move with over a furlong to go.

15th October 2011 – Champions Day Ascot, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Frankel completed a magnificent season on the very first QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot with a routine victory over the straight mile. A fitting end to a brilliant year!