A record 256 entries have been confirmed for Britain’s richest race day – QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday October 15th.
The £4.2m prize fund has drawn in runners from across the globe; with the entries boasting winners of a mouth-watering 79 Group One races and 15 Classics.
The feature QIPCO Champions Stakes, the richest mile and a quarter race in Europe, could see Dermot Weld’s dual Derby winner Harzand face off against Jean-Claude Rouget’s French Derby winner Almanzour while there is a world class field of 40 entered for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The Gurkha, Galileo Gold and Ribchester, who battled to a thrilling close finish in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week are all entered in what looks set to be an enthralling battle of the generations.
Top names amongst the entries for the QIPCO British Champions Sprint include Limato, the emphatic Darley July Cup winner, Commonwealth Cup Heroine Quiet reflection and the first five home in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Meanwhile the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup is headlined by Ascot Gold Cup Winner Order of St George and dual Goodwood Cup Winner Big Orange.
QIPCO British Champions Day will not only showcase this season’s best horses in action but it will also see the crowning of this year’s Stobart Champion Jockey and music extravaganza headlined by chart-topping DJ Sigala.
Top Three in Sussex Stakes Among Nominees to Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The Gurkha and Galileo Gold star among 40 entries for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day.
Hugo Palmer’s 2000 Guineas hero Galileo Gold narrowly got the better of the Aidan O’Brien-trained French Guineas winner The Gurkha in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, but roles were reversed in last week’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.
Ribchester, owned by Godolphin and trained by Richard Fahey, won the Jersey Stakes at the Royal meeting before flying home to finish third in the Sussex and connections are keen on an appearance at Ascot on October 15.
Fahey said: “It was a fantastic race (at Goodwood) and Ribchester ran a blinder. I’ve looked at the race a few times since and nobody did anything wrong – it’s Goodwood and you need a bit of luck there.
“He’s progressing all the time and has come out of the race in good order. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is obviously a race we are all keen on.
“For his next run we are looking at the Prix Jacques le Marois (Deauville, August 14), or he could go back to Goodwood for the Celebration Mile (August 27).
“We will see how he is this week and make a decision closer to the time.”
On the prospect of meeting The Gurkha and Galileo Gold again, the trainer added: “I’m not saying we would beat them, but you wouldn’t be afraid to take them on again.”
With a total prize fund of £1.1million up for grabs, the QEII is the richest mile race in Europe.
Belardo and Gabrial, who filled the places behind Solow in last year’s running, are entered again. The former won the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May and was runner-up to Tepin in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Minding has been given the option of dropping back to a mile, while Qemah, winner of the Coronation Stakes and Prix Rothschild on her past two starts, is among five possible French challengers.
Another exciting entry is Summer Mile winner Mutakayyef.
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