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Deacon Blues now set for QIPCO British Champions Day

2 Sep 2011

James Fanshawe's raipdly improving sprinter has been forced to miss tomorrow's Betfred Sprint Cup after mucus was found on his lungs, but he's recovering well and will now target the QIPCO British Champions Sprint on 15 October.

Deacon Blues wins the Shadwell Stakes at Newbury in July.  Image courtesy of

Deacon Blues, who had been favourite for tomorrow’s Betfred Sprint Cup, the penultimate sprint in the QIPCO British Champions Series, until sickness ruled him out this week, is responding well to treatment.

James Fanshawe’s fast improving four-year-old, who has caught the eye in winning three lesser races this season, will now target the grande finale, the QIPCO British Champions Sprint, on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October.

He was particularly impressive last time out at the Curragh in Ireland, when he annihilated the opposition without coming off the bridle, passing the winning post seven lengths ahead of his nearest rival.

Reflecting on his colt’s exercise this morning, Fanshawe told At The Races viewers:

"He wasn’t put under pressure, he just went for a trot this morning. He’s on antibiotics but he seemed nice and bright.

"The plan at the beginning of the season was to go for the Wokingham and he won that well and then you just try and take things step by step.

"He won his first Group Three nicely at Newbury and, obviously, he had progressed again and Johnny (Murtagh) said when he rode him at the Curragh three weeks after that that he couldn’t believe how much he’d improved since he won the Wokingham.

"So he’s really going the right way and his performance at the Curragh was outstanding and I’d just like to have him in that sort of form before we run again.

"The next step was to go for the Haydock Sprint but the race after that that we were aiming for, and that we’re aiming for now, is the QIPCO Champions Sprint at Ascot in October."

The £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint, which will be run over six furlongs, could be a cracker.  All the runners in tomorrow’s Betfred Sprint Cup except for the three outsiders are also entered.

To book tickets via Ascot’s website for QIPCO British Champions Day, when Frankel will be looking to extend his unbeaten sequence to nine in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Twice Over will be targeting a third successive victory in the QIPCO Champion Stakes, CLICK HERE.