With the Flat season coming to a close the culmination of the British Flat season is upon us as the Qipco British Champions day takes place at Ascot racecourse. It has been running since 2011 and takes place in October every year. With the prize money continuing to increase it means it is now the targeted end of season highlight for many connections of the top horses.
This race day brings together the finals of the five key divisions in the Champions series. This provides a fantastic end of season spectacle for racing fans bringing all the stars of the season together to do battle. With prize money now at an all-time high of £4.26 million over the card it means it is now the richest day in the British Flat racing season.
The event was created by drawing together several of the key end of season races from Ascot and Newmarket into the one card. The original races that have been changed are the Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes from Ascot. Then the Champion stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes from Newmarket. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes have retained their names and are the final races for the Mile and Middle distance divisions. In addition the Diadem stakes has become the British Champions Sprint, the Pride stakes has become the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes and the Jockey Club Cup has become the British Champions Long Distance Cup.
With this now being such a prestigious day of racing for champions it has no doubt brought about some of the top performances over the years. None other than from the highest rated Flat horse in history in Frankel. With a rating of 147; Frankel was in a league of his own and no horse in recent times has come close. Only Sea the stars back in 2006 with a rating of 140 and the American superstar in Arrogate with a rating of 141 are near the former star.
Frankel won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by four lengths in 2011 and then followed up a year later in the Champion Stakes. This was the culmination of a stunning career that will forever be remembered at this meeting. There was a bumper crowd of around 32,000 on the day and this has continued to follow with vast amounts of people heading to Ascot to view this stunning day of racing every year.
The British Champions Long Distance Cup is a Group 2 for three year olds or above. It was established back in 1873 and is now ran over 2 miles following several changes to its distance. The prize money for the event is now £450,000 which is a stark contrast to the £65,000 prize fund that was on offer back in 2010. The large increase having come from the takeover of Qipco as the sponsor.
The Champions Sprint Stakes is now a Group 1 since 2015 that is open for three year olds or above. It is ran over 6 furlongs and was established back in 1946. The prize fund for the race was £100,000 in 2010 and has now increased to £600,000 with the first prize at £340,260. Betfair horse racing make Harry Angel there 13/8 favourite for this year’s race. He will be expected to take all the beating having won so impressively on its last appearance.
Another race on the day is the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes that is a Group 1 again for three year olds and above. The race is ran over 1 mile 4 furlongs and was established back in 1946 and also has prize money of £600,000 for the event compared to the £100,000 back in 2010.
The two key races every year are the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Champion Stakes both for three year olds and above. The QE II is a Group 1 run over a mile and was established back in 1955. The prize money for the race has now reached a vast sum of £1.1 million. This is followed by the premier race on the card in the Champion stakes that is ran over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs. It was established back in 1877 and was originally ran at Newmarket. It is also the richest race on the card with a staggering prize fund of £1.3 million and a first prize of £737,320.