Sheikh Fahad and Rod Street look forward to 12th QIPCO British Champions Day
All eyes will be on Ascot today for the 12th edition of QIPCO British Champions Day, the ultimate end of season extravaganza and culmination of the 35-race QIPCO British Champions Series.
With £4.15 million in prize money across the six races, QIPCO British Champions Day is the richest fixture in the British calendar.
The feature QIPCO Champion Stakes, worth £1.3 million, is Britain’s most valuable all-aged contest, while the £1.15 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) is the most lucrative mile contest in Europe.
The world’s top-rated turf horse Baaeed is the headline act as he bids to sign off with a perfect 11 from 11 record in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
Elsewhere, Inspiral aims to become just the second filly in 35 years to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) after Minding in 2016, while Trueshan goes for an unprecedented hat-trick in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, Chairman of Qatar Racing, said: “We are very proud to celebrate the 12th running of QIPCO British Champions Day on what continues to be Britain’s richest race day.
“This year’s QIPCO Champions Series has been as thrilling as ever. We have witnessed Stradivarius, who will be paraded here today, win a record-breaking sixteenth QIPCO British Champions Series race, enjoyed international success from the likes of Australian sprinter Nature Strip, and followed with excitement the journey of Baaeed, who bids to maintain his unbeaten record in today’s QIPCO Champion Stakes.
“Today’s card highlights the depth and quality of British horseracing, and we are delighted to be hosting what looks set to be another fantastic QIPCO British Champions Day.”
Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said: “We are looking forward to another fabulous conclusion to QIPCO British Champions Series on QIPCO British Champions Day, with stars at every turn and so much to enjoy on and off the track.
“I know that sports fans can’t wait to see whether Baaeed can emulate the mighty Frankel by signing off on an unbeaten career by winning the QIPCO Champion Stakes. That race is underpinned by four other top-class Group races, plus the valuable and competitive Balmoral Handicap.
“We will be crowning the Champion Jockey and Owner and also honouring past champions, including Stradivarius, who will parade during racing, and inducting Willie Carson and Sir Henry Cecil into the QIPCO British Champions Hall of Fame.
“As ever, our we are incredibly grateful to our sponsors QIPCO for their enduring support of both QIPCO British Champions Day and the British Champions Series and we wish all the connections of horses running the very best of luck.”
Championship presentations (Apprentice; Jockey; Owner)
The presentations for Champion Apprentice (Benoit de la Sayette), Champion Jockey (William Buick) and Champion Owner (Godolphin) will start in the Parade Ring from 12.28pm. Willie Carson will be on hand to present the jockey awards.
Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand will be performing a jockey masterclass in the Thunderdome at 11.45pm.
Jockey autograph signings
Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand and David Egan will be signing autographs on the Queen Anne Lawn from 12pm.
QIPCO British Champions Hall of Fame exhibition
There is a QIPCO British Champions Hall of Fame exhibition in the grandstand featuring a tribute to Her Majesty The Queen and Frankel, 10 years on from his QIPCO Champion Stakes win.
Stradivarius retirement parade
Bjorn Nielsen’s hugely popular stayer, who will stand at the National Stud in 2023, will be paraded after the QIPCO British Champions Sprint (2.00pm).
Retraining of Racehorses parade
Trip To Paris, winner of the Gold Cup in 2015, and globetrotter Side Glance will parade after the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (2.40pm).