Equine stars stole the show as top Flat horses went head to head at Ascot racecourse last weekend
A crowd of over 24,000 gathered at Ascot racecourse on Saturday (19 October) to watch top Flat horses in action at QIPCO British Champions Day.
Top riders from the world of eventing — including Emily King, Harry Meade, Laura Collett and Oliver Townend — enjoyed a day out alongside Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker.
Alongside top racing there was plenty to do for horse lovers — including a “jockey school” for budding young riders and pony rides.
And fans of Sir Henry Cecil remembered the great trainer at a special exhibition.
Godolphin’s Farhh won the Group 1 Champion Stakes, under Silvestre De Sousa.
The five-year-old will now retire to Sheikh Mohammed’s Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.
“This horse is a great fighter. I am very proud of him and this is good for Godolphin,” said trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
Richard Hannon’s Olympic Glory took the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, while Seal Of Approval provided jockey George Baker with his first Group 1 win in the Fillies and Mares.
“I have been waiting a long time to win a Group 1 — I am 31 years of age and I hope that I do’t have to wait that long for the next one,” he said. “It means a lot, especially to win it on a day like this.”
Other winners included the Johnny Murtagh-trained and ridden Royal Diamond, sprinter Slade Power and Breton Rock.
“I think that this is the best day of my life,” said Johnny. “I wouldn’t have taken it [training] on if I didn’t think I could do it, and do it well. We have a good system at home, and this proves that I’m able to train and ride.”
This is the third year the day has run — with Frankel being the main draw in past years.
Despite not having Frankel as a crowd puller, organisers were pleased with attendance figures.
“We all know that the Frankel factor has had an important bearing in the past, so this year’s attendance figures are very satisfactory for a day that’s still very much in its infancy,” said Rod Street of British Champions Series.
“We’re also delighted with the very high calibre of the racing, with 20 Group 1 winners taking part.”
For full report on QIPCO British Champions Day, don’t miss this week’s issue of H&H out today (Thursday 24 October).