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The world’s best stand their ground for Saturday

15 Oct 2012

A sensational day is in prospect at Ascot on Saturday as four of the world's top six turf horses are confirmed for the two big races on QIPCO British Champions Day, headed by the wonder horse, Frankel.

Frankel is set for his biggest ever test. Image courtesy of

The confirmations for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday released this afternoon are headed by four of the world’s top six turf horses in the latest edition of the World Thoroughbred Rankings (1st April – 7th October).

World number one, Frankel (rated 140), and world number two, Cirrus des Aigles (130), are joined by the fourth best turf horse in the rankings, Nathaniel (126), and the joint fifth, Excelebration (125).

Only the Japanese Triple Crown winner and Arc runner-up, Orfevre (127), and Black Caviar, tied with Excelebration on 125, are missing (So You Think is also 125 but is already retired).

Frankel, in what is expected to be the final start of his remarkable unbeaten career, Cirrus des Aigles and Nathaniel are all set to contest Europe’s richest ten furlong race, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes, which could make it one of the highest-rated races this century.

Eight horses have been for the QIPCO Champion Stakes, with the Prix de l’Opera winner, Ridasiyna, and the German Derby winner, Pastorius, also still engaged.

Meanwhile Excelebration, the second best miler in the world behind Frankel this year, has his opportunity to win the biggest prize of his career in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO.

Group One winners Cityscape, Elusive Kate and Most Improved have also been declared amongst a possible field of ten for the £1m contest, Europe’s most valuable mile race.

The declarations to run will be made on Thursday morning.

“To have four of the world’s top six turf horses confirmed for Saturday promises something very special indeed for Britain’s richest raceday, especially in the QIPCO Champion Stakes when Frankel looks like facing the toughest assignment of his career as he attempts to retain his unbeaten record,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd.

“It’s expected to be the world number one’s final race and a capacity crowd will be ready to bid him farewell on a day that’s likely to build to an unparalleled and highly charged crescendo shortly after 4pm.

“The eyes of the racing world, and indeed the sporting world, will be on Ascot like never before.”