Five things we learned from British Champions Day


Minding: as good as they come, as shown by her QEII victory

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

 By Peter Scargill 12:44PM 16 OCT 2016 

After a fantastic day of action on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot, we look at five things we learned for the future…

Magnificent Minding is out on her own

Seven Group 1s from 7f to 1m4f, two Classic wins and a defeat of her male counterparts in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – I give you Minding.

In what has proved to be a stellar season for trainer Aidan O’Brien there has been no better horse at advertising his skills, the ability of sire Galileo and the increasingly buccaneering attitude taken by the Coolmore partners. She has been a wonderful racehorse and next Flat season will be all the better if she returns.

Super Soumi something special

Ryan Moore is rightly praised as the best jockey in the world and there is no better rider around Ascot than Frankie Dettori.

However, when it comes to delivering consistently in big races on the big stage around the world there are few jockeys more capable than the excellent Christophe Soumillon.

He delivered the hugely talented Almanzor perfectly to catch out Found at the crucial point in the Champion Stakes and it was a superb sight to see the two charge to a decisive victory at Ascot.

Target trainers to the fore again

There are many different approaches to training racehorses but target trainers have excelled at Champions Day since its inception.

Top target trainer Dermot Weld missed the mark on Saturday, but the likes of James Fanshawe, John Gosden and Jean-Claude Rouget all came to the fore with victories from The Tin Man, Journey and Almanzor.

The Tin Man

The Tin Man: Sprint winner had a quiet second half of the season

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

With so much prize-money on offer and with it coming at the end of the season, Champions Day is often dominated by those saved especially for the day and it was once again this year.

BHA must pay attention to sport’s image

The spectre of drugs is one that all sports live in fear of so the emergence on Champions Day that a number of staff had been stopped for having “unallowable” substances in the racecourses stables is a troubling one.

The BHA have been keen to play down the findings but the revelation was badly handled and should have been made clearer earlier in the day.

Integrity is vital for the image of British racing and the BHA have to make sure the image, be there something up or not, is clean and clear for the sport to prosper.

Straight course bias not acceptable

On one of the biggest days of racing in Britain is it acceptable for one part of the course to be significantly disadvantaged compared to the other part?

The straight course at Ascot was hugely biased towards the far side on Saturday, by “several lengths” according to James Fanshawe, and ultimately this took a good chunk of the gleam off the performances in the QEII, Sprint and Balmoral handicap.

Course preparation is a difficult art, especially on the Flat at this time of year, but there has to be a reduction in the bias for next year’s meeting.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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