Five best finishes in the 2016 Champions Series
29 Dec 2016
As the year draws to a close, we remember five epic finishes to QIPCO British Champions Series races in 2016
The Gurkha, in the purple colours, collars Galileo Gold in a thrilling Sussex Stakes. Picture: Racingfotos.com
1 The Sussex Stakes (July 27)
This was billed as a rematch between Galileo Gold and The Gurkha, who had finished first and second in the St James’s Palace Stakes, and did not disappoint. Frankie Dettori dictated on Galileo Gold and it looked like he might confirm the form for a long way, only for The Gurkha to claw him back in the final strides and win by a neck. Ribchester flew home in third, just a short head further back, in a gripping finale.
2 The Ladbrokes St Leger (September 10)
Racegoers were still trying to take in the fact that Idaho had unseated his rider when a second drama was played out. With the odds-on favourite out of the race, Housesofpartlaiment and Ventura Storm looked like they were going to fight out the finish. The latter won that battle but not the war – Harbour Law wearing the pair of them down to win by half a length.
3 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (June 18)
A tremendous tussle in which five horses flashed past the line almost as one. The photo finish revealed that Twilight Son, partnered by Ryan Moore, had taken the spoils from Gold-Fun, with Signs Of Blessing third, Magical Memory fourth and Suedois fifth. The distances were a neck, a short head, a head and another short head.
4 Doncaster Cup (September 9)
Quest For More was favourite, having made all in the Lonsdale Cup on his previous start, and led almost everywhere bar the line. Martin Harley nursed Sheikhzayedroad, a consistent but notoriously tricky ride, ahead of him right on the line. The winning margin was a nose. The pair also finished one-two in the Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day at Ascot the following month.
5 Coral-Eclipse (July 2)
The uphill finish at Sandown lends itself to great finishes and this was no exception, with Hawkbill and The Gurkha locking horns from two out. The pair had a great scrap which hung in the balance until late on – Hawkbill keeping on the stronger to win by half a length.