There are highlights at every turn, as befits Britain’s most valuable raceday, with mighty mare Magical, trained by Aidan O’Brien, set to try and go one better than Frankel and Cracksman by becoming the first horse to win at the meeting three times.
The five-year-old mare will either defend her crown in the QIPCO Champion Stakes or attempt to gain a second success in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, which she won in 2018.
It promises to be a momentous afternoon with four of John Gosden’s leading lights – Stradivarius, Palace Pier, Mishriff and Lord North – all intended runners. The champion trainer will be seeking to add to his haul of eight winners on QIPCO British Champions Day – the same tally as O’Brien.
In total, 25 Group 1 winners remain engaged and between them they have won 50 races at the highest level. Six Classic winners remain in contention to run – Even So, Kameko, Mishriff, Search For A Song, Serpentine and Sovereign – and no fewer than 20 entries have at least one win at Royal Ascot to their name.
“It was a very bold initiative from QIPCO and Ascot when British Champions Day was conceived, and it has worked very well,” Gosden said. “It’s done a great job confirming champions, and it’s provided a great wrap up to the European season before the Breeders’ Cup.”
Prize money for this year’s QIPCO British Champions Day will stand at £2.54 million, retaining its position as the richest raceday in Great Britain, despite the impact of coronavirus.
Andrew Balding said: “QIPCO British Champions Day has been a fantastic initiative and a credit to everyone involved. It’s been fantastic to have a British-based European championship with such tremendous prize money, and it’s something for us to be really proud of.”
“If you look back over the roster of past winners since it started in 2011, I think you will find that the best horses, by and large, have been crowned champions.”