Best of the Best Get Set For Champions Day

Features | 26th September 2022

Rarely has QIPCO British Champions Day been so well named. The best horse in Europe – and possibly the world – will finish his career in the Qipco Champion Stakes on Saturday 15 October.

Baaeed is a perfect ten from ten heading into Ascot’s glittering end-of-season celebration. He will attempt to add a magnificent seventh Group 1 prize to his superb tally.

Widely regarded as the best British Flat racehorse since Frankel, he has already secured his place among the greats with victories this season in the Lockinge Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes, the Sussex Stakes and the Juddmonte International.

Frankel lit up the first QIPCO British Champions Day with victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He returned 12 months later to land the Champion Stakes before heading off into retirement.

It is quite fitting that Baaeed will have his swansong in the same race having won last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The four-year-old son of Sea The Stars has already proved he is a true champion. 

His trainer, William Haggas, has a chance of becoming one himself. He is locked in a battle to be champion trainer with Charlie Appleby. It will come to a head on Qipco British Champions Day – the final day of the season – when Baaeed could be Haggas’ trump card as he attempts to claim his first title.

Baaeed and Jim Crowley bid to finish the colt's perfect career with a win in the QIPCO Champion Stakes

The jockeys’ title race is more clear cut. Appleby’s stable jockey William Buick has an unassailable lead and he will be crowned champion jockey for the first time. He could easily celebrate with a winner or two on the prestigious six-race card.

Last year’s Qipco British Champions Sprint hero Creative Force could be back to defend his crown. Stablemate Naval Crown, who beat Creative Force to win the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, is also among a stellar list of entries along with Nunthorpe heroine Highfield Princess, July Cup winner Alcohol Free and dual Wokingham victor Rohaan.

The Godolphin team of Appleby and Buick also has strong claims in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. Recent Newmarket winner Eternal Pearl is on target for the Group 1 prize. The mile-and-a-half contest is shaping up to be a cracking race with Lancashire Oaks winner Free Wind, Blandford Stakes heroine Above The Curve and unlucky Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn among the entries.


William Buick will lift the champion jockey trophy for the first time on QIPCO British Champions Day

QIPCO British Champions Day wouldn’t be complete without Frankie Dettori. He has ridden the winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes six times, including, most famously, on Mark Of Esteem when the charismatic rider landed his magnificent seven-timer in 1996. Dettori is likely to team up with star filly Inspiral in this year’s race.

The pair teamed up for an impressive victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot having missed the earlier part of the season.

A shock defeat in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting threatened to stall Inspiral’s progress but she bounced back to seal a third Group 1 success in the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August.

She could be taken on by Irish 1000 Guineas winner Homeless Songs, previous winner The Revenant and dual Group 1 scorer Saffron Beach. Haggas also has a strong hand with both Aldaary and Maljoom entered in the mile showpiece. 

The race of the day could easily be the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup. Kyprios will attempt to land his sixth race of the season. He has rattled up a Group 1 hat-trick with victories in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger.

There’s no doubt he is the champion stayer but he is likely to face some stiff competition on QIPCO British Champions Day in the shape of last year’s winner Trueshan and St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov.

It promises to be a fantastic day and one no racing fan will want to miss. Two of the three enclosures are now SOLD OUT, but tickets remain available. BUY NOW