Love Island star Chris Hughes, 24, joined legendary flat jockey Frankie Dettori at Ascot racecourse today as the pair prepared for Britain’s richest race-day – QIPCO British Champions Day 2017, which takes place on Saturday 21st October.
Gloucestershire-born stud Chris, a lifelong horseracing fan, who rode and regularly visited local stables in his teenage years, fulfilled a dream with his ultimate Ascot race-day experience. Chris enjoyed an exciting day at the iconic racecourse, visiting the historic course changing rooms, meeting trainer Michael Bell, weighing himself in on the famous jockey scales as well as taking part in a riding masterclass with Frankie.
After arriving at Ascot’s iconic Royal Gates, Chris was greeted by Frankie, who was waiting at his own famous bronze statue inside the course before Chris put his riding skills to the test on an equicizer – a mechanical horse used to train jockey’s - alongside the three-time Champion Jockey.
Chris Hughes’ Ultimate Ascot Experience has been captured in a video for Great British Racing ahead of the iconic QIPCO British Champions Day 2017, which takes place on 21st October.
QIPCO British Champions Day marks the final outing of the flat racing season and is one of the most-anticipated dates of the racing calendar, worth £4.3 million. Headlining this year’s after party will be British singer songwriter George Ezra.
Chris Hughes, said: “It was a real honour to meet Frankie Dettori, who has achieved so much in the flat game. We had a bit of fun on the mechanical horse together, but it was such hard work! I wanted to be a jockey when I was younger, I stopped riding at about 15 or 16. It was always my dream but the hardest thing is keeping yourself fit and on the weight limit. Kem, from Love Island, would probably make a good jockey, because of his height!”
Speaking about QIPCO British Champions Day, Chris said: “A day at the races has something for everyone. You can eat good food, drink good drink, surround yourself with good people. It’s just a great atmosphere, everyone’s coming for the same reason. Dress smart, get a nice suit. When you look smart, you feel good and your whole day is better in my opinion. There’s few things that are better than a day’s racing.”
Rod Street, Chief Executive, Great British Racing said: “QIPCO British Champions Day is one of the best race days anywhere in the world and a fitting finale to the European Flat racing season.
“This year’s outing promises to be more exciting than ever, with £4.3m of prize money available. With George Ezra performing at the after-party, it is a fantastic day out for punters and we’re thrilled that Chris has identified the day out as his type on paper, too.”