The History of British Champions Day
British Champions Day is a relatively new addition to the horse racing calendar. The event was only introduced in 2011, but has already established itself as one of the most important events of the flat racing season.
The day features final races in 5 divisions of the British Champions Series, which brings together races throughout the year into a larger tournament. The British Champions Series was also created in 2011, prompting the racing organisers to organise a day that the Series can come to a close. 2 of the biggest end of season meetings at the time were at Ascot and Newmarket. Organisers recognised the popularity in these meetings and combined the 2, creating British Champions Day at Ascot.
The Diadem Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes remained at Ascot, whilst the Champions Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes moved from Newmarket. The Diadem Stakes became the British Champions Sprint, Jockey Club Cup was renamed the British Champions Long Distance Cup and the Pride Stakes became the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes. In addition to these classic races, the Balmoral Handicap was introduced as the final race of the day.
British Champions Day Racing Schedule
British Champions Day gets underway at 1:25pm on Saturday 20th October. The opening race of the day is the British Champions Long Distance Cup, with the highlight of the day being the Champion Stakes. The Champion Stakes is one of the richest prizes in horse racing, with a £1,300,000 purse, and a healthy £737,320 going to the eventual winner. The day finishes off with the Balmoral Handicap, the smallest race of the day in terms of prize money.
Here is the complete schedule for the day:
|13:25||Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup||£300,000|
|14:00||Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes||£600,000|
|14:40||Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes||£550,000|
|15:15||Queen Elizabeth II Stakes||£1,100,000|
|15:50||Qipco Champion Stakes||£1,300,000|
Bet UK have prepared a complete British Champions Racecard for the day, to help you choose your horses ahead of the day of racing.
Past Winners at British Champions Day
British Champions Day might be a more recent event, but it has still seen some of the biggest names in horse racing history amongst its winners. The most notable victor on British Champions Day is Frankel. Frankel won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2011, before winning the Champion Stakes in his final race in 2012. Over 30,000 racing fans flocked to Ascot racecourse that day to watch Frankel race for the last time.
Last year, Order of St George finished off an impressive 2017 with a win in the British Champions Long Distance Cup. The Irish stallion had already impressed at Ascot in 2016 with a Gold Cup win, and continued his good form with a win on British Champions Day. Order of St George might not be returning, but 2 of last year’s winners will be back at Ascot. Hydrangea won the Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes last year but after 2 poor runs at Ascot recently, she might not be fancied again. Frankel’s sire Cracksman is another past winner, who comes into this year’s event in good form. Again running in the Champions Stakes, Cracksman has won 4 of his last 5 races, including a win and a 2nd place finish at Ascot.
Head over to our dedicated Ascot Racing page for the latest on every event at the world-famous racecourse. Bet UK’s online sportsbook has the latest horse racing betting odds for British Champions Day, along with markets for all meetings in the UK and Ireland.
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