1. British breeding on top at Maryland 5 Star
While Oliver Townend may have narrowly missed out on the inaugural Maryland 5 Star title with Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, Britain still had reasons to celebrate including the fact Boyd Martin’s winning ride is British-bred. On Cue, who is by the Selle Français showjumper Cabri D’Elle, is from the “On” dynasty raised in Yorkshire by Alyse Clancey and her daughter Jolyse Bell-Syer (née Clancey). The mare is a great granddaughter of the Clanceys’ foundation mare Augermist, who Alyse competed at the top level. Boyd went into the final phase in third place after cross-country, but rails down for Oliver and Tim Price (Xavier Faer) saw On Cue’s clear round secure victory.
2. Top-class racing on British Champions Day
Qipco British Champions Day celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year and the enthusiastic crowds were treated to some top-class racing during the Flat season’s finale. Notable moments included Baaeed beating Palace Pier to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with Her Majesty on hand to present the trophies. Jockey Jim Crowley achieved an impressive treble of winners across the card, while the Champion Stakes went to French raider Sealiway. Dubai Honour, who British gold medal-winning eventer Laura Collett is credited for turning around, finished second in the flagship race while home favourites Mishriff and Adayar came home in fourth and fifth.
3. Oisin Murphy crowned champion jockey – again
British Champions Day also saw Oisin Murphy crowned Flat champion jockey for a third year in row, but he was hard pressed to the title by William Buick who closed the gap to two. It had been a challenging week for the rider, who failed a racecourse breathalyser test on Friday 8 October. When catching up with Lydia Hislop for Racing TV at Ascot, Oisin revealed that following a recent training session with Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher, he has plans to head off to Portugal showjumping and will also be competing in a couple of classes at the London International Horse Show before Christmas.
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