With £750,000 in prize money, the QIPCO Champion Stakes is the most valuable race in the UK in 2020.
Following on from iconic races like the Investec Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO), this is the final, pulsating showdown in the QIPCO British Champions Series Middle Distance category.
The race brought a great heritage from Newmarket, where it was run from its inception in 1877 until 2010. But the dramatic injection in prize money (the 2010 renewal was worth just £350,000) that accompanied its move to become the glittering highlight of the new QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot has changed its status completely.
Now it can compete in financial terms on flat racing’s international stage and the 2011 contest attracted a sensational field, packed with many of the world’s highest-rated middle-distance horses.
The 2012 renewal was truly exceptional with the world’s best racehorse Frankel registering his 14th straight victory in what was the final race of his career. His half-brother, Noble Mission, kept the race in the family in 2014 for an emotional victory for Lady Jane Cecil as he defeated Champions Series stalwart Al Kazeem in a thrilling finish.
In 2015, Dermot Weld continued his brilliant form on Champions Day as he saddled Fascinating Rock to land the feature contest. Twelve months later the outstanding Almanzor was a dazzling winner for France.
Arguably the most impressive winner in recent times was Cracksman. The son of Frankel became the first horse to win the same race twice at QIPCO British Champions Day and only the second horse to win two races on the raceday – the other being his sire.
Current leading jockeys: Tom Queally (2009, 2010, 2012)
Current leading trainer: Numerous have won it twice.