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14 Oct 2016 by TSZ

British Champions Day: Tips For The Races

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QIPCO British Champions Day is the finale to the British flat racing season, where a staggering £4.2 million prize money will be on offer. It is the conclusion to the British Champions series and features the finals of the five respective divisions; sprint, the mile, middle distance, long distance and fillies and mares. Here at TSZ, we shall be looking into the stats behind the five big races from the last 10 years, more specifically the records of trainers in each race, the record of favourites, the starting price of the winning horses and the ages of horses to win the races. Please note that whilst British Champions Day has only been around since 2011, the races featured have been taking place for a lot longer than this with just a couple of races changing their name.

The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup
The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup is a Group 2 race open to thoroughbreds who are three years of age or older, and is run over a distance of two miles.

  • In the last 10 editions of the race, the starting price favourite has won four times, but notably not one favourite has won in the last six years.
  • Seven of the last 10 winners have been priced at 3-1 or less, with only one so called “outsider” victorious; Royal Diamond in 2013 at 20-1.
  • The average age of winning horses in the last 10 editions is 5.1

Which trainers have the best record in the race?

  • Not one trainer has been able to assert any sort of dominance over this race in the last 10 years. The most successful trainer – albeit just one win ahead of his competitors – is Dermot Weld with two wins in the last 10 years.
  • In its first four years of being run at Ascot, Irish based trainers have dominated, winning all four before John Gosden won with Flying Officer last year.

The standout horse in the 2016 running of this race is the Aidan O’Brien trained Order of St George; none of the other entrants in the race would’ve got anywhere near the third place in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe the horse achieved last time out. His competition comes in the form of last year’s St Leger winner Simple Verse, as well as 2014 winner Forgotten Rules who’s back to try and regain his crown for successful trainer in this race Dermot Weld; however, the horse is ground dependant and will hope for soft conditions come Saturday, otherwise it may not run.

The QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes
The QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes is a Group 1 flat race for horses aged three years and older. It is run over 6 furlongs and the horse race used to be known as the Diadem Stakes before the inception of the British Champions Series.

  • In the last 10 editions, the starting price favourite has only won four times, with two of these favourites winning in the last two years.
  • Five out of the last 10 winners have been priced at 5-1 or less, with only two winners having a greater starting price than 10-1.
  • The average age of winning horses in the last 10 years is 3.8.

Which trainers have the best record in the race?

  • Similarly to the first race of the day, no trainer has dominated this race in the last 10 years. The Hills family have the best recent record with two victories; Barry Hills winning in 2006 with Red Clubs and his son Charles Hills winning last year with Muhaarar after taking the licence over from his father.
  • Since the inception of Champions Day in 2011, Britain have won the race twice and Ireland have prospered three times. With the race being upgraded to a Group 1 since last year and subsequently the prize money rising from £350,000 to £600,000, who will challenge for the big bucks this year?

As you’d expect for a race worth so much money, there is incredible depth to the 2016 race. Henry Candy has two leading fancies for the race in Limato and Twilight Son, but the former needs the right ground conditions and will be pulled out if a lot of rain falls. Quiet Reflection, the Commonwealth Cup and 32 Red Sprint Cup winner and Mecca’s Angel are also standout names. If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, then add Shalaa who made a winning return to the track two weeks ago, The Tin Man who was runner up in the Sprint Cup and the progressive Librisa Breeze. We can see that punters have a tough task of picking the winner – hopefully the above stats will point you in the right direction.

The QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes
The QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes is a Group 1 horse race for fillies and mares aged three years and above. It is run over one mile and four furlongs, now back at Ascot having previously been run at Newmarket when known as the Pride Stakes from 2008 and the Princess Royal Stakes before that.


  • In the last 10 editions of the race, no outright starting favourites has emerged victorious, however Crystal Capella was a co-favourite of three when winning in 2010 and Sapphire was a joint favourite when winning in 2012- so not the best record for starting price favourites in recent times!
  • Six of the last 10 winners have been priced at 6-1 or less, however this race has seen a few decent price winners in the last 10 years with four winners priced at 12-1 or higher, including both Seal of Approval at 16-1 in 2013 and Madame Chiang at 12-1 in 2014.
  • The average age of winning horses in the last 10 years is 3.5, with the three and four year olds winning nine of the last 10 races.

Which trainers have the best record in the race?

  • Yet again there is no dominance from a single trainer, with a handful of top trainers such as William Haggas and Dermot Weld notching up one win in the last 10 years, however the best record of late goes to Sir Michael Stoute who has two winners with Crystal Capella winning twice in 2008 and 2010.
  • Since the start of British Champions Day in 2011, two classic winners have gone on to win this race; Dancing Rain in 2011 for William Haggas and Simple Verse last year for Ralph Beckett.

Aidan O’Brien’s fillies have been dominating this season with the likes of Minding, Found and Seventh Heaven producing excellent performances. The Dermot Weld trained Zhukova looks set to provide the greatest challenge to the Ballydoyle stable, who will run Seventh Heaven and Pretty Perfect. Aidan O’ Brien has failed to win this race in the last 10 years but looks to have a strong hand this time around.

The QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is a Group 1 race for horse aged three years and older. The race is run over one mile and represents the mile category of the British Champions Series.

  • Starting price favourites have won this race 50% of the time in the last 10 years, one of the better races for favourites on British Champions Day.
  • Nine out of the last 10 winners have been priced at 5-1 or less, with the highest price winner in the last 10 years being Olympic Glory at 11/2 in 2013.
  • The average age of winning horses in the last 10 editions is 3.5.

Which trainers have the best record in the race?

  • The brilliant Aidan O’Brien has had the best record in this race in the last 10 years, training three winners; George Washington (2006), Rip Van Winkle (2009) and Excelebration (2012) – all of whom were favourites, showing how the punters like to back the fancied horses trained by Aidan O’ Brien. The Ballydoyle stables are closely followed by Saeed bin Suroor and Freddy Head who has won the race the last two years with Charm Spirit and the impressive Solow.

The 2016 edition of the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes looks to be a tremendous prospect with Galileo Gold, Ribchester and Awtaad all set to do battle once again; throw into the mix the potential of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting and Aiden O’ Brien’s Minding and this could be a brilliant race.

The QIPCO Champion Stakes
The QIPCO Champion Stakes is a Group 1 race for thoroughbreds aged three years and above. The race is run over a distance of one mile two furlongs and is in the middle distance category of the British Champions Series. The race is now run at Ascot with the last running at Newmarket in 2010; there is £1.3 million in prize money on offer, the richest prize of the day.

  • This has not been the best of races for starting price favourites in the last 10 years, with only two winning – New Approach in 2008 and Frankel in 2012.
  • Six of the last 10 winners have been priced at 7/2 or lower, with the highest priced winner in the last 10 years being Twice Over at 14-1 in 2009 who went on to win the same race the year after at a much shorter price.
  • The average age of winning horses in this race is 4.4.

Which trainers have the best record in the race?

  • Sir Henry Cecil and then Lady Cecil following her husband’s death have by far the best record in the race in the last 10 years with four victories; Sir Henry Cecil training Twice Over to back-to-back victories in 2009 and 2010 before training the amazing Frankel in 2012. Lady Cecil continued the success of the yard in the race in 2014, winning with Noble Mission in a thrilling finish.
  • Last year Dermot Weld won the race for the first time when teaming up with jockey Pat Smullen – a partnership which has been very successful on British Champions Day, with four winners in five years.

The 2016 edition of the QIPCO Champion Stakes has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser with Almanzor taking on a contingent of Aidan O’ Brien trained horses, be this Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Found or runner up in the Derby, US Army Ranger or maybe even both.

This season, Aidan O’ Brien has set new heights in the horse racing world and now he sets his sights on the £4.2 million prize pot on offer on Saturday. The awe-inspiring trainer could end the flat season on a high; punters are likely to back him but take heed of our stats as you may find a gem in there.

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