Watch: The Top 6 Champions Day performances
Saturday 19th October sees the coming together of equine superstars like no other. Competing for a record breaking £4.2 million in total prize money its little surprise that this years QIPCO British Champions Day is set to be as competitive as ever.
Last year saw Cracksman win the highly sought after QIPCO British Champion Stakes for a second time, a performance that earned him the title of the best horse in Europe by official ratings. This year, as ever is a star studded line with Stradivarius, Advertise, Star Catcher, Benbatl, Japan and Magical heading the bill (with the possibility of Enable returning to the track!)
However, with just a short while to go to Champions Day 2019, we look back at the top 5 performances to date!
Frankel – 2011 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Frankel extended his spectacular run to nine wins in-a-row and fifth Group One as a three-year old with total ease as he took up the running from the pacemaker Bullet Train in the final furlong to win by four lengths.
Jockey Tom Queally knew just how freakishly good Frankel was even then, “He’s a horse in a lifetime, he’s more professional with age, the real deal. I let him go when he allowed me too. I always enjoy winners but this one is extra special.”
Muhaarar – 2015 British Champions Sprint Stakes
Muhaarar won his fourth straight Group One in a scintillating display, putting the likes of Twilight Son, Danzeno and The Tin Man to the sword.
Muhaarar sealed his place as one of the greats of his generation in this, his last run. Winning four Group One’s on the bounce is a feat rarely achieved by sprinters, the last to manage such an achievement was Dayjur, 25 years prior in 1990.
— Racing UK (@racing_uk) October 20, 2017
Almanzor – 2016 QIPCO Champion Stakes
2016’s QIPCO British Champions Day was certainly one to remember for the titanic clash between Almanzor and Found (the 2016 Arc winner). On the day however, Almanzor had the turn of foot in the closing stages that his illustrious rival simply could not match.
“There is no doubt, he is a Champion!” proclaimed commentator Richard Hoiles. It was a fitting end to a truly unbelievable season for Almanzor who had already won the French Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes in spectacular fashion.
QIPCO British Champion Stakes hero ALMANZOR was the best horse in Europe in 2016. Can’t disagree? pic.twitter.com/DyDTeagi93
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) January 25, 2017
Minding – 2016 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
This race marked an incredible seventh Group One at the tender age of just three for the superstar filly. The daughter of the great sire Galileo ended a spectacular campaign with victory over the boys, beating Group One champions Ribchester, Lightning Spear and Galileo Gold.
Following the race, trainer Aidan O’Brien proclaimed “She’s an incredible filly. She’s won at the top level at a mile, mile-and-a-quarter and a mile‑and‑a‑half and then to bring her down in trip to win an all-aged mile race, they have to be very special.”
— We Horse Racing (@wehorseracing) October 15, 2016
Cracksman – 2017 QIPCO Champion Stakes
Following an inconsistent season of near misses, Cracksman truly announced himself as the best three-year-old colt last October. In a race including Group One stars such as Barney Roy, Recoletos, Highland Reel and Poets Word, Gosden’s charge wasn’t to be matched.
Sitting one off the front for much of the race, Dettori bides his time before splitting horses round the final bend and unleashing Cracksman down the Ascot straight. His relentless gallop couldn’t be matched as he pulled clear and won by seven lengths.
Cracksman – 2018 QIPCO Champion Stakes
Cracksman returned to his brilliant best, after another up and down season, with a stunning defeat of Crystal Ocean in the Champion Stakes. His six-length winning margin over the King George runner-up was just a length short of the distance by which he beat Poet’s Word 12 months earlier. He was the first horse since his sire Frankel to win at two Champions Days in-a-row.
Frankie Dettori said an emotional goodbye to Cracksman after the race saying, “this is the last time I’m going to ride you, I’ll miss you”. The winner of eight of his 12 races, four of them at the top level, and more than £2.7m was retired to stud.
What a performance! The King is back!!! 👑🙌
CRACKSMAN wins back-to-back Qipco Champion Stakes in his final race!
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 20, 2018