Champions Day: What you need to know

The highly anticipated 2023 British Champions Day will finally get underway on Saturday.

The 2023 QIPCO British Champions Day is one of the most anticipated events on the horse racing calendar, with this year’s racing at the iconic Ascot Racecourse taking place on Saturday 21st October. It is the richest day in British racing, with prize money of £4.1 million available to competitors throughout the day.

In 2011, the QIPCO British Champions Day took place for the first time. There were a number of races that day, which were the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Winner: Fame And Glory), the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Winner: Deacon Blues), the QIPCO British Champions Filles’ And Mares’ Stakes (Winner: Dancing Rain), the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Winner: Frankel), and finally the QIPCO Champion Stakes (Winner: Cirrus des Aigles).

In 2012, Frankel marked his final race start at that year’s Champions Day. He took part in the Champion Stakes that year, winning the race by just under two lengths ahead of Cirrus Des Aigles in second, with Nathaniel in third. It was an enthralling and tense race, but Frankel was able to finish his career unbeaten.

Now, we fast forward to the 2023 QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot, where no less than 6 races will be taking place: QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, QIPCO Champion Stakes and finally the Balmoral Handicap.

2023’s Champions Day will also see the legendary jockey Frankie Dettori participate in the event for the final time in his illustrious career. The Italian has had plenty of success at the British Champions Day, he has won the Sprint Stakes 5 times (1989, 1996, 2000, 2003 & 2022), the Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes 3 times (2016, 2019 & 2022) and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes 6 times (1990, 1996, 1999, 2007, 2010 & 2017).

Here is all you need to know about the races at Ascot on Saturday, starting with the Champions Long Distance Cup, which opens proceedings for the day of enthralling racing action.

QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (13:15): 

All eyes will be on the 8 runners in the 2023 British Champions Long Distance Cup as they are the first to take to the track. The most recent winner in 2022 was Trueshan, who was ridden by Hollie Doyle. Coltrane and Trawlerman rounded off the top three, finishing in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

The 8 runners taking part in the 2023 edition of this race are as follows: Broome (Ireland), Coltrane (Ireland), Kyprios (Ireland), Stratum (Great Britain), Sweet William (Ireland), Trawlerman (Ireland), Trueshan (France) & Maxident (Great Britain).

QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (13:50):

The 2023 British Champions Sprint Stakes follows as the second race on Saturday, with 15 runners vying for the win in this race. Kinross, ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the 2022 Sprint Stakes, finishing ahead of Dane O’Neill’s Run To Freedom and William Buick’s Creative Force, who finished in second and third place. Dettori will be on board Kinross again in this year’s race.

The runners that are set to take part in the 2023 race are: Art Power (Ireland), Kinross (Great Britain), Rohaan (Ireland), Run To Freedom (Great Britain), Saint Lawrence (Ireland), Spycatcher (Ireland), Mill Stream (Ireland), Makarova (Great Britain), Sandrine (Great Britain), Sense Of Duty (Great Britain), Vadream (Great Britain), Believing (Ireland), Magical Sunset (Ireland), Ocean Quest (Ireland) & Swingalong (Ireland).

QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ & Mare’s Stakes (14:25):

The third race of the day will be the Fillies’ and Mare’s Stakes. The 2023 edition of this race will see 14 horses compete for the victory. Back in 2022, Emily Upjohn won the race with Dettori on board. The Italian successfully fended off competition from Thunderkiss, Insinuendo and Eshaada to clinch the win on the day.

The runners who are taking part in this race are as follows: Above The Curve (United States), Free Wind (Ireland), One For Bobby (Ireland), Poptronic (Great Britain), Stay Alert (Great Britain), Term Of Endearment (Great Britain), Time Lock (Great Britain), Bluestocking (Great Britain), Jackie Oh (Ireland), Red Riding Hood (Ireland), Rue Boissonade (France), Running Lion (Great Britain), Sea Of Roses (Great Britain) & Sweet Memories (Ireland).

Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (15:05):

This year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will be the first to take place since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8th September 2022. This will be the fourth race of 2023’s British Champions Day at Ascot, with 11 runners taking part. Bayside Boy, ridden by Tom Marquand, was the most recent winner of this race in October 2022. Modern Games and Jadoomi ended the race in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

All 11 horses taking part this year will be: Angel Bleu (France), Check and Challenge (Great Britain), Facteur Cheval (Ireland), Big Rock (France), Chaldean (Great Britain), Epictetus (Ireland), Hi Royal (Ireland), Nashwa (Great Britain), Paddington (Great Britain), Rogue Millennium (Ireland) & Tahiyra (Ireland).

QIPCO Champion Stakes (15:45):

The penultimate race of the 2023 QIPCO British Champions Day will be the QIPCO Champion Stakes, where 9 runners will be taking part in this year’s race. Back in 2022, it was won by Bay Bridge who jockey Richard Kingscote rode. Kingscote was able to fend off competition from Adayar and My Prospero, who had to settle for a second and third place finish in the end.

The 9 runners that are set to take part in this race on Saturday afternoon are as follows: Bay Bridge (Great Britain), Dubai Honour (Ireland), Mostahdaf (Ireland), My Prospero (Ireland), Point Lonsdale (Ireland), Via Sistina (Ireland), Horizon Dore (France), King Of Steel (United States) & Royal Rhyme (Ireland).

Balmoral Handicap (16:25):

The Balmoral Handicap is the sixth and final race of 2023’s QIPCO British Champions Day. Jason Watson, riding Shelir, was the winner of the most recent edition of this race back in October 2022. Sweet Believer and Tacarib Bay were in the running for the win, but they ended up finishing in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. 20 runners are going to be taking part this year.

The horses set to participate in the 2023 Balmoral Handicap are as follows: Migration (Ireland), Raadobarg (Ireland), Sonny Liston (Ireland), Baradar (Ireland), Al Mobhir (Great Britain), Awaal (Ireland), Bopedro (France), Blue For You (Ireland), Docklands (Great Britain), Helm Rock (Great Britain), Coeur D’or (Ireland), Rhoscolyn (Great Britain), Ropey Guest (Great Britain), Bennedot (Ireland), The Gatekeeper (Ireland), Dual Identity (Ireland), Dancing Magic (Ireland), Lattam (Ireland), Vetiver (Great Britain) & Eilean Dubh (Ireland).

Fans worldwide will be counting down the hours until the racing finally gets underway at Ascot on 21st October 2023.

There is no better way to enjoy the enthralling racing at this year’s QIPCO British Champions Day than with an Eventmasters VIP Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment.

QIPCO British Champions Day Hospitality Packages – 2024

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