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The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup

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History

With two demanding miles (3,200 metres) of Ascot’s famous turf to negotiate, the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup provides a thorough test of stamina for flat racing’s top stayers as they contest the final major long distance race of the British season.

The seven races in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance category vary in distance from the extended 1¾ miles (2,920 metres) of Doncaster’s Ladbrokes St Leger to the 2½ miles (4,000 metres) of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The two-mile trip of the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup provides the perfect distance for the category finale.

With £500,000 in prize money, it is the second most valuable all-aged long distance race in the British calendar after the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen‘s affair with Champions Day saw them take a second victory in the 2014 race with the classy Forgotten Rules, but it was Frankie Dettori that provided the jubilant crowds with a flying dismount in 2015, as he steered Flying Officer to success – a first Champions Day victory for Dettori and John Gosden.

Order Of St George disappointed in the 2016 renewal but made amends 12 months later. In 2018 the dominant Stradivarius capped a perfect season with victory under Frankie Dettori.

Previous winners

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Stradivarius hits another high note

Stradivarius capped a magnificent season when coming out on top in a dramatic race for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot.

Winner of the newly-inaugurated Stayers’ Million after four victories throughout 2018, Stradivarius completed a five-timer to confirm his status as the undisputed staying king.

In the process, he became only the second horse to win five QIPCO British Champions Series in a season. The other? None other than the mighty Frankel in 2012.

It was hard work, though, as he had to be brave to go through a gap for Frankie Dettori on the inside turning for home, which had been left by the pace-setting Flag Of Honour.

After seeing that horse off, Stradivarius appeared to leave Thomas Hobson a little short of room when Willie Mullins’ charge tried to sneak up the far rail in the final furlong.

However, Stradivarius (even-money favourite) would not be denied and the John Gosden-trained four-year-old crossed the line a length and a half to the good from the Irish raider.

Dettori said: “I had half a chance and took it, but you can only do that when you have plenty of horse.

“He’s been a model of consistency and owns the crown of being champion stayer – you can’t take it away from him.

“He’s all heart, this horse.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

  • Course plan Ascot Champions Day Course Plan# dtcwtsdd
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The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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