QIPCO British Champions Day returns to Ascot on Saturday 17th October and as preparations continue British Champions Series have compiled a list of the best moments from the previous four meetings.
Dancing Rain led the 2011 Fillies and Mares Stakes from start to finish under a fantastic ride by Johnny Murtagh. Having won the Investec Oaks at Epsom, and the German equivalent during the summer, she rounded off the year in impressive fashion at Ascot - marking herself as a true champion. Beginning the race at 6/1, she set a steady pace in the front of the field before upping the tempo and leaving her rivals trailing behind. She proved herself a class above the others on the day, beating second-placed Bible Belt by two lengths.
Fame and Glory lived up to his name during his career – particularly in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. However, he really showed his prowess in the inaugural Long Distance Cup in 2011. Having decided the early pace in the race was not to the horse’s liking, Jamie Spencer drove into the lead and kicked clear of his rivals at the top of the Ascot straight. Despite challenges from Opinion Poll and Colour Vision, Fame and Glory pulled it out of the bag once again to win by a length and a quarter.
This impressive horse took the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in decisive fashion, beating Cityscape by three lengths. The win came following his second place to the great Frankel the year before – a position he was all too familiar with. In this contest, he finally escaped Frankel’s shadow. This win took Excelebration’s record to eight wins, four seconds, and a third, from 14 starts. At the end of 2012, he was ranked as the joint-third-best horse in the world alongside Black Caviar, behind only Frankel and Cirrus des Aigles.
Noble Mission started as the 7/1 fourth choice in the betting for the QIPCO Champion Stakes. His rivals included Cirrus des Aigles, Ruler of the World, Al Kazeem and Free Eagle. Running on heavy ground, Noble Mission was sent into the lead from the start and set the pace from Al Kazeem. As the field entered the straight, many of the fancied runners were struggling, and the race evolved into a struggle between Noble Mission and Al Kazeem. Noble Mission rallied in the final strides to win by a neck.
The unbeaten legendary Frankel completed his race career with victory in the Champion Stakes on British Champions Day in 2012. A crowd of 32,000 was there to cheer him home, a modern day autumn flat racing record in the UK. Despite losing several lengths at the start of the race, he quickly made up the ground and beat the previous year’s victor Cirrus des Aigles by one and three-quarter lengths. The ground was more testing than Frankel was used to, but he proved himself a true champion to emerge victorious once again.
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