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Five clashes to get excited by in 2022

5 Jan 2022

We've picked five exciting potential match-ups in this year's Series

Baaeed and Palace Pier battle it out

We were treated to some memorable clashes in the QIPCO British Champions Series last year.

Who can forget Poetic Flare touching off Master Of The Seas in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas; Stradivarius rallying to beat Spanish Moon in the Lonsdale Cup; or Baaeed fending off Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

What lies in store this year? Here are five potential clashes that could again have us on the edge of our seats.


Race: QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket

The first contest in this year’s 35-race Champions Series could set the bar high as stablemates Native Trail and Coroebus are on course to meet for the first time.

The former was last year’s champion two-year-old and preserved his unbeaten record when signing off for the season with victory in the 7f  Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Coroebus achieved less but again looked a top-notch prospect when gliding home on the same card over a mile in the Emirates Autumn Stakes.

Native Trail is ante-post favourite for the Guineas but, intriguingly, trainer Charlie Appleby has suggested he thinks Coroebus might be superior. There’s only one way to find out.


Race: QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket

The fillies are unbeaten Group 1 winners who represent two of the most powerful trainers in the business in John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien.

Inspiral, a daughter of Frankel, won each of her four starts for Gosden, capping her flawless campaign with an emphatic victory in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October.

Tenebrism overcame greenness to win on her debut over 5f at Naas in late March, and was then absent six months before returning with victory in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile, a victory which looked unlikely for much of the 6f contest.

Inspiral’s proven stamina is a big plus but the dam’s side of Tenebrism’s pedigree suggests a mile could well be within her compass. May the best filly win..


Race: Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

A little bit of good fortune will be required for the staying stars to cross swords, but we can all dream.

Trueshan won the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup for a second time at Ascot in October, having landed the Group 1 Qatar Prix Du Cadran just a fortnight earlier. And before that he had scooped the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup. His connections yearn to run him in the Gold Cup, but only if there is a bit of give in the ground.

In his absence at Ascot this year, Subjectivist put up a tremendous display to romp home by five lengths. Sadly, he suffered an injury afterwards and has not run since, but a defence of his crown is on the cards provided he stands training. The handicapper has him on a rating of 122, with Trueshan on 120, suggesting there is little between them.


Race: King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot

It’s not often that colts who win the Derby or Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe are kept in training. But this year, both will be back for more and, what is more, there is the tantalising prospect of them facing off at Ascot at the height of summer.

Adayar would be defending his King George crown, having galloped on resolutely to win last year’s renewal after a decisive success in the premier Classic at Epsom.

Torquator Tasso, the German Derby winner, relished the soft ground when a shock winner of the Arc but it looked no fluke. He had Adayar back in fourth and no doubt his connections will be hoping for a wet British summer, or at least a thunderstorm or two.


Race: Juddmonte International at York

Baaeed’s remarkable rise up the ranks was one of the great stories of 2021. He didn’t make his debut until June 7 but little more than four months later was without equal over a mile, making it six wins from as many races with a defeat of Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Kept in training, it would seem natural that his connections will explore whether can be as effective over a bit further and the mile-and-a-quarter Juddmonte International would seem a good fit in the second half of the season. It would be quite something if Mishriff was waiting for him, not least because the globetrotting star was a brilliant winner of the York showpiece last year. There hasn’t been a back-to-back winner since Halling (1995-96).