Vintage QIPCO British Champions Day field as stars turn out in force
13 Oct 2016
A dazzling cast has been declared for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.
Britain’s richest fixture, which boasts prize money of £4.26 million, will be contested by 81 runners and there are equine stars at every turn with 23 individual Group 1 winners, who have together won 42 races at the highest level.
The rematch that race fans had hoped for is on with Europe’s top-rated horse, Almanzor heading over from France for a clash with Arc heroine Found, in the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes.
Aidan O’Brien, the latter’s trainer, is enjoying a record-breaking season and has already secured nine of the 30 QIPCO British Champions Series races this year and is clearly intent on adding to his haul.
In addition to Found, his other runners on Champions Day form a formidable squad. They include Order Of St George (QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup); Seventh Heaven (QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares) and Minding (QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes).
Frankie Dettori, who will himself be in the thick of the action, enjoyed his Magnificent Seven at Ascot 20 years ago and it is not difficult to imagine many punters banking on a Famous Foursome for the Ballydoyle supremo.
This is a no one-man show, though, with many of the stars of the summer in action. Four Classic winners will meet in the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while five Group 1 winners are set to burst from the stalls in the Sprint.
The standard is set in the very first race, the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, with this year’s Gold Cup winner lining up against last year’s St Leger heroine, plus the respective winners of this year’s Doncaster Cup, Lonsdale Cup and Prix du Cadran.