News

Back to articles

Five stars from Champions Day who could light up 2022

20 Oct 2021

We've picked a handful of horses from Champions Day who could make a splash in the 2022 Series

Baaeed and Palace Pier battle it out

The eleventh edition of QIPCO British Champions Day lived up to all expectations with winners showing class and courage on a day full of excitement and drama.

As ever, a number of the stars in action were having their farewell runs. For instance, five-time Group 1 winner Palace Pier, beaten a neck in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO), is now heading to stud, while the evergreen Brando was retired after running in the Sprint for the sixth successive year.

However, plenty of those in action will be back to thrill us again next year. We’ve highlighted five runners who could help illuminate the 2022 QIPCO British Champions Series.

BAAEED

Age: next year 4. Trainer: William Haggas.

Baaeed’s rapid rise up the ranks has been nothing short of remarkable with the unbeaten colt’s victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) on Champions Day being the highlight of a giddy afternoon.

In little more than four months, Baaeed has gone from being an unraced unknown to being recognised as one of the best racehorses in the world. His pulsating neck defeat of five-time Group 1 winner Palace Pier, who had lost just one of his previous ten races, was his sixth victory in succession.

Next year, races over a mile and further beckon for the son of Sea The Stars. How about the Al Shaqab Lockinge, Queen Anne and Qatar Sussex Stakes to start off with, followed by the Juddmonte International and then QIPCO Champion Stakes? Given his versatility regards the ground and scope to stay further, anything must be possible.

ADAYAR

Age next year: 4. Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Not many Derby winners are kept in training. And even fewer go on to vindicate the decision to do so.

Let’s hope Adayar proves an exception because he was superb when winning at Epsom and followed up with a tremendous success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot in July.

Turning for home on Saturday, it looked like he might add the QIPCO Champion Stakes to his CV but he faded to be fifth – perhaps finding the race coming too soon after his fourth on testing ground in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 13 days earlier.

The imposing son of Frankel should be even stronger next summer and, once refreshed, promises to be a force in all the top middle-distance races. The Cazoo Coronation Cup, back at Epsom, appeals as an ideal early target.

TRUESHAN

Age next year: 6. Trainer: Alan King.

What has Trueshan got in common with Frankel and Cracksman? Give yourself a point if you answered that they are only trio to have secured two triumphs on Champions Day.

Trueshan cemented his status as the best stayer in training when retaining his QIPCO Long Distance Cup crown with a game defeat of Tashkhan and Stradivarius. He had to work harder than when a wide-margin winner 12 months earlier but on this occasion, he had won the Prix du Cadran just a fortnight earlier plus raced a little keener than ideal in the early stages of a rough renewal.

Alan King nominated the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot as Trueshan’s principal aim next summer and it will be a shame if fast going prevents him from taking part, as it did this year. Some give in the ground is regarded as important for him and, when getting his favoured conditions, he has looked near invincible.

ART POWER

Age next year: 5. Trainer: Tim Easterby

If there is any justice then Art Power will surely land one of the top sprints in 2022.

His close fourth in Saturday’s Sprint Stakes means he has now run in six QIPCO British Champions Series races over 6f in the past 14 months and finished 443454.

Those form figures point to him perhaps being just below the top level but they mask the fact that he has often not enjoyed the rub of the green, including at the weekend when his draw in stall 20 left him swimming against the tide from the start. The first three home broke from stalls 5, 2 and 4.

Art Power has at times been too exuberant for his own good but seems to be learning to race in a more efficient manner. The grey is versatile regards the ground and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is an obvious target in the first half of next year.

ESHAADA

Age: next year 4. Trainer: Roger Varian.

A decision as to whether Eshaada stays in training next year has yet to be made, but she will if trainer Roger Varian gets his way. After her defeat of Albaflora in the QIPCO Fillies & Mares Stakes, he said: “She’s a big scopey filly and I think her best days are ahead of her.”

Eshaada was having only her fifth start on Saturday, and showed a fabulous attitude to prevail by a short head, with dual Classic winner Snowfall back in third. She is clearly suited by some cut in the ground but had also been an unlucky loser on firm going in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot in June. Her conqueror that day, Loving Dream, has herself since won at the highest level.

A daughter of champion sprinter Muhaarar, Eshaada has enough pace to drop back to ten furlongs and that will offer her connections plenty of options. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes must be a temptation given her record at Ascot.