The Qipco British Champions Day takes place tomorrow (16 October 2021) at Ascot racecourse.
The grand finale of the British Flat season, British Champions Day offers viewers and spectators a feast of some of the best racing action in the world, with six races on the card, featuring no less than four Group One clashes – Group One being the highest level of Flat racing.
In addition, there is one Group Two race and a Class Two race too, which means viewers will be spoilt in terms of top-notch racing action.
British Champions Day first took place in 2011, and is the culmination of the British Champions Series. It features the finals of the five divisions of the series and is the richest day in British racing, with more than £4 million in prize money across the six races up for grabs.
It was created by drawing together a number of historic races, which had been features of Ascot and Newmarket’s end of season meetings for many years. These were the Diadem Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, both from Ascot, and the Champion Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes, all from Newmarket. In the new fixture, these became the finals of each of the divisions of the British Champions Series.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes retained their names and became the finals of the mile and middle distance divisions respectively. The Diadem Stakes became the British Champions Sprint, the Jockey Club Cup became the British Champions Long Distance Cup, and the Pride Stakes became the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes.
Here’s the important things you need to know to make the most of watching the action…
Trainers to watch
Father and son training duo John and Thady Gosden are trainers to watch on British Champions Day as they prepare to send out a number of key contenders, including the incredible stayer, Stradivarius (pictured) in the Long Distance Cup, Palace Pier in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Mishriff in the Champion Stakes.
Jockeys to watch
British Champions Day also marks the final day of the Flat jockey championship, and this year, it goes right down to the wire with Oisin Murphy and William Buick going head-to-head for the title. These two top jockeys have been see-sawing all week with regards to who has their head in front, so stay tuned to the action to see who comes out on top.
Horse to watch
There are many famous racehorses to look out for on British Champions Day, but keep an eye on Adayar, Mishriff and Palace Pier are among the headline acts, with such as Trueshan, Stradivarius, Snowfall and Baaeed joining them. The glittering cast have won 48 races between them at the highest level.
Races on British Champions Day
1.25pm – British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group Two)
The staying stars are the first to take to the track in the British Champions Long Distance Cup.
2pm – British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group One)
The sprinters take centre stage in the British Champions Sprint, one of the most hotly contested races in 2020.
2.35pm – British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group One)
The climax to the British Champions Series Fillies & Mares category provides a fantastic end-of-season target for the top female stars of the turf.
3.10pm – Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group One)
Some of the best horses in the world line up to contest Europe’s richest mile race, worth over £1m with a roll of honour including Minding, Roaring Lion and Frankel.
3.50pm – Champion Stakes (Group One)
Europe’s richest 10 furlong race is set to be the richest race in the UK in 2021, with £1.2m up for grabs.
4.30pm – Balmoral Handicap (Class Two)
This is a hotly-contest one-mile handicap, with over £103,000 available to the winner.
How to watch British Champions Day from home
ITV Racing will be showing all six races on British Champions Day, with coverage starting at 1pm and finishing at 5pm.
Racing TV and Sky Sports Racing will also be showing all of the races from British Champions Day live.
Famous victories at the meeting
Frankel – winner of the 2011 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and winner of the 2012 Champion Stakes.
Glen Shiel – winner of the 2020 British Champions Sprint Stakes, Glen Shiel provided Hollie Doyle with her first Group One success.
Roaring Lion – winner of the 2018 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Dubai Millennium – winner of the 1999 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Cracksman – winner of the 2017 and 2018 Champion Stakes.
There is no strict dress code.
Tickets are still available and all are welcome to attend British Champions Day. There are three enclosures; King Edward VII enclosure, the Winning Post enclosure and the Queen Anne enclosure, but the first two are now sold out for 2021.
It costs £35 to access the Queen Anne enclosure, which offers access to the length of the grandstand, as well as parade ring access and standside viewing.
How to get there
Ascot racecourse is located just outside London, on the south-west side of the capital city.
There are a number of free and paid-for car parking options available.
Ascot racecourse is a 50 minute drive or train journey from London. It is located close to the M3, M4, M40 and M25 motorways and to London Heathrow for international visitors
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