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Five reasons to get excited about Champions Day

1 Sep 2018

We pinpoint a handful of horses who look like being among the star cast for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot next month.

Roaring Lion has excelled in the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International. Picture:

The start of September means that QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot takes place next month and that there are only 50 days to go before the richest race day in the calendar.

Here are five reasons why the eighth Champions Day is shaping up into a blockbuster.


Race: Long Distance Cup (1.25pm)

Has established himself as an outstanding stayer this year, winning the first four races in the Long Distance category of the Champions Series – the Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup, Qatar Goodwood Cup and Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.

The four-year-old, trained by John Gosden, has yet to taste defeat this season and if successful would become only the second horse to win five Series races in the space of a season. The other? None other than Frankel, who achieved the feat in 2012.


Race: QIPCO British Champions Sprint (2.00)

The brilliant winner of the Darley July Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup last season suffered an unfortunate injury in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June when getting his leg stuck in the starting stall.

He is on course to defend his Sprint Cup crown on Saturday, though, and will be fresher than most heading into the autumn. Will the superb speedster finally gain that elusive win at Ascot?


Race: QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (2.40)

The John Gosden-trained grey found Hydrangea and Bateel a bit too strong in last yearโ€™s renewal of the Fillies & Mares but looks primed to make a bold bid to go two places better.

She has looked better than ever this term, being placed in Group 1 company on her past three starts. Beat all bar Sea Of Class in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York last time and John Gosden has said she will be freshened up for Champions Day.


Race: QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (3.15)

Things have not gone quite to plan for the son of Deep Impact since his QIPCO 2000 Guineas triumph at Newmarket in may but perhaps reverting back to a mile will do the trick.

He was edged out by Roaring Lion in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July and, apparently, had been under the weather before finishing fourth to the same horse in the Juddmonte International Stakes.


Race: QIPCO Champion Stakes (3.50)

Has thrived on his racing this season and put up a top-notch display when slamming six other Group 1 winners in the Juddmonte International Stakes last time, having previously landed the Coral-Eclipse.

It could be a sensational end to the Series because Cracksman, his stablemate, was a stunning seven-length winner of the QIPCO Champion Stakes last year and Anthony Oppenheimer, his owner, is keen on him defending his title.