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The QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes

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History

This six furlong (1,200 metres) contest provides the grand finale to the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint category. It was run as a Group 1 for the first time in 2015.

Run for the first time in 2011 (it may have taken over from the Group 2 Diadem Stakes, previously run at Ascot’s late September meeting, but it has new conditions which has changed its profile completely), the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint takes place over the same course and distance as the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

After the success of Deacon Blues in the inaugural 2011 running, the race went the way of Ireland for the three years. In 2014 jockey Wayne Lordan landed back-to-back victories in the race aboard Gordon Lord Byron in the contest that provides Flat racing’s speed merchants with one final chance to shine on the British stage and stake their claim to sprinting greatness.

Muhaarar added his name to the list of top-class horses in 2015, as he bowed out the undisputed sprinting champion of Europe. The Tin Man scooped the spoils 12 months later, with Librisa Breeze emerging triumphant in 2017.

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Sands Of Mali rises to the occasion

Sands Of Mali bounced back to form with a bang to spring a 28/1 surprise in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint.

The Richard Fahey-trained three-year-old colt had been in good form earlier this summer, and was beaten just half a length in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but his form since had been below that level.

He rediscovered his mojo, making all under Paul Hanagan to beat Harry Angel (4/1) and Donjuan Triumphant (16/1) by a length and one and a quarter lengths.

Yorkshire-based Fahey said: “It’s been very frustrating – he just got nailed at the Royal Meeting and things went pear-shaped after that. He’s always worked like a nice horse at home, and today he’s proven that he is. He’s had a couple of goes [at Group One races] and today it’s come good so I’m delighted.

“I don’t know why he’s been beaten lately – maybe he just hurt himself a little bit on the quicker ground at Royal Ascot, and I felt he ran OK at Haydock last time out, but today was where we thought he should be. What they should be and what they actually do are quite different sometimes.

 

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.

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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