Frankel stars in outstanding QIPCO British Champions Day entries
8 Aug 2012
All five QIPCO British Champions Day championship races have received world class entries, with the world's best racehorse, Frankel, set to be the star of the show at Ascot.
Frankel was the star of the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day last year and is now all set to end his career in style on Britain’s richest raceday at Ascot on Saturday 20 October. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
The publication of the entries for the five championship races on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, October 20, hold the promise for another exceptional afternoon of Flat racing.
All eyes will be on Frankel, the world’s best racehorse, in the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes after connections revealed the colt is almost certain to make his last racecourse appearance in the 10-furlong contest.
The Sir Henry Cecil-trained four-year-old heads 46 entries for the £1.3 million event and will be bidding for his second success on British Champions Day after a four-length success in last season’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by QIPCO.
He has continued in majestic form this season, winning the Group One JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury by five lengths in May and the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood by six lengths on August 1.
In between he put in an outstanding display in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, winning by 11 lengths from Excelebration.
In the aftermath of that performance, ratings experts Timeform awarded the son of Galileo a rating of 147 – the highest in the organisation’s 64-year history.
Frankel could face a number of new challengers stepping up to 10 furlongs and an outstanding entry for the QIPCO Champion Stakes includes this season’s star three-year-old Camelot, who is one of 13 entries for Irish champion trainer Aidan O’Brien.
The son of Montjeu produced a blistering turn of foot to win the QIPCO 2000 Guineas over a mile in May before taking the Investec Derby by five lengths over half a mile further in June. He made it five from five in the Irish Derby on June 30.
O’Brien’s other contenders include four-time Group One winner St Nicholas Abbey, Group One Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris winner Imperial Monarch and Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Power.
Last year’s winner Cirrus Des Aigles, trained in France by Corine Barande-Barbe, has taken his form to a new level since that memorable success with two Group One victories including in the Prix Ganay, where he beat subsequent Group One winner Giofra by eight lengths.
Other French possibles include the last two Prix du Jockey Club heroes Reliable Man and Saonois, while Andre Fabre could be represented by three-time Group One winner Meandre and dual-Classic scorer Golden Lilac.
John Gosden’s entries include Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes heroine The Fugue and Nathaniel, who beat Godolphin’s Farhh in the Group One Coral-Eclipse on his seasonal return in July.
Also entered is Group One German Derby winner Pastorius, who stormed to an eight-length victory at Munich last time, while Ed Dunlop has entered last year’s third Snow Fairy.
The £1 million Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by QIPCO, is the richest race run over a mile in Europe and has attracted 37 entries.
Frankel holds an entry in the race just in case connections decide to come back to a mile, but the Champion Stakes appears to be a more likely target at this stage.
Nevertheless, Sir Henry Cecil could unleash Warren Place ‘s newest addition Beauty Parlour, who put in a dazzling performance in the French 1,000 Guineas at Longchamp in May when trained by Elie Lellouche.
Other exciting fillies who have been entered include Group One Coronation Stakes winner Fallen For You and Group One Prix Rothschild scorer Elusive Kate, both trained by John Gosden, while Robert Collet could run last year’s third Immortal Verse.
Aidan O’Brien’s Excelebration has lived in Frankel’s shadow for much of his career but did win the German 2,000 Guineas and the Group One Prix du Moulin last season when trained by Marco Botti. He was last seen chasing Frankel home in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
He could be joined by stable companions Power, who won the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas in May, while Investec Derby hero Camelot is an intriguing entry after demonstrating his speed for a mile with a near last-to-first victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Godolphin has three entries headed by Farhh, who was second in the Sussex Stakes behind Frankel on August 1, while Jim Bolger has entered Group One Dewhurst Stakes winner Parish Hall.
Brian Meehan has two entries including Group One St James’s Palace Stakes winner Most Improved, while Andrew Balding could be represented by Ascot specialist Side Glance.
Group One Darley July Cup winner Mayson heads 55 entries for the £250,000 Group Two QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes over six furlongs.
The four-year-old could clash again with The Cheka, last season’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes victor Society Rock and recent Group Two Audi King George Stakes scorer Ortensia, who finished second, third and fourth at Newmarket respectively.
Roger Charlton has entered Bated Breath, who broke the course record in the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock in May, while last year’s runner-up Wizz Kid returned to her best when second in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest on Sunday.
Aidan O’Brien has entered 2010 European champion sprinter Starspangledbanner, who has come out of retirement after fertility issues at stud.
Last year’s winner Dancing Rain is among 33 entries for the £250,000 Group Two QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ And Mares’ Stakes run over a mile and a half.
William Haggas’ filly, who also won the Investec Oaks and German Oaks last season, has not been seen since a disappointing run behind Snow Fairy in Japan in November.
John Gosden is enjoying a wonderful season with his fillies and has entered Irish Oaks heroine Great Heavens, impressive Nassau Stakes winner The Fugue and Group One Pretty Polly Stakes scorer Izzi Top.
Hughie Morrison has entered Investec and Irish Oaks runner-up Shirocco Star, while Dermot Weld could rely on easy Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes winner Princess Highway.
Alain de Royer-Dupre has four possible runners headed by last season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up Shareta.
Gold Cup winner Colour Vision headlines 42 entries for the £200,000 Group Three British Champions Long Distance Cup, run over two miles.
He could lock horns again with Saddler’s Rock, who finished third in the Gold Cup, but turned the tables on a penalised Colour Vision in the Group Two Artemis Goodwood Cup.
Last year’s winner Fame And Glory is one of three entries for Aidan O’Brien, while Dermot Weld could saddle 2010 Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage and the progressive Galileo’s Choice.
John Gosden has entered St Leger heroes Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel, while Jeremy Noseda’s 2010 Irish St Leger winner Sans Frontieres, who has been off the track for almost two years, has also been given an entry.
The two Group Two races and one Group Three contest all carry Group One conditions, with no penalties and prize money consistent with Group One races.
"We could not have hoped for better entries and they set the second edition of QIPCO British Champions Day up to be a ‘must-see’ event like last year’s," said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Limited.
"Frankel’s final racecourse appearance will, of course, crown the day and he could face his biggest ever test in the QIPCO Champion Stakes, while his likely absence from the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes should make Europe’s richest mile race an ultra-competitive affair.
"The other three races have all attracted fantastic entries and if they translate into top class fields should help our cause to get them upgraded as soon as possible."
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