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The QIPCO Champion Stakes

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  • Distance
  • Class
  • Group
  • Prize money

History

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.

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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French Fancy Sealiway First Home In The Champion Stakes

The contest was billed as a head-to-head between favourite Mishriff and Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Adayar, but neither could land a blow in the closing stages.

It was a race filled with superstars that certainly lived up to its expectations. Adayar, prominent throughout travelled strongly all the way to the three-furlong marker, however the challengers where always going to arrive and arrive they did in the form of Sealiway, Dubai Honour and Mishriff.

In the end, it was the French raider Sealiway who showed all the class and determination necessary to hold off the fast-finishing Dubai Honour, repelling the challenge of the runner-up and prevailing by three-quarters of a length. Irish raider Mac Swiney was the best of the remaining contenders as he outran odds of 40/1 to take third, a further length and a half behind.

Sealiway was ridden by Mickael Barzalona for trainer Cedric Rossi, a combination who were tasting QIPCO British Champions Day glory for the first time on the biggest stage of all.

Barzalona, who memorably won the Derby as a teenager on Pour Moi in 2011, said: “It’s great to be back in the big time and be with this horse since the beginning. He deserved to prove his talent like he did today.

“We had a good draw, he broke well, settled well and we had a good position – it was good. Sealiway showed plenty of stamina in the Arc, but today he showed plenty of speed. He is an excellent horse.

On the courageous runner up Dubai Honour, William Haggas said: “Dubai Honour was a little bit unfortunate because he’s a hold up horse drawn in stall 10. Adayar missed the break and just as James [Doyle] was trying to get him in, Adayar went hurtling past him and set him alight a bit.

“No excuse, we were quite far back but that’s the way he needs to be ridden. He came with what looked like a winning run, but the other horse outstayed him.

“He’s another that has made great progress. I was thinking that the Hong Kong Cup might suit him. He would enjoy that long straight and seems to run well right handed. I don’t know about Australia for him yet.”

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.

  • Course plan Ascot Champions Day Course Plan#
  • Course Intro

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 £4m 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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View fixtures

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