This season’s British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse will feature some fascinating clashes in the respective divisions in Flat racing. The Berkshire-based racecourse, which is just six miles outside of London, is set to see several champions crowned, with the best horses, jockeys, and trainers all competing.
It is going to be an extra special meeting this year, as it will be Frankie Dettori’s final ride at Ascot, the venue where he rode the Magnificent Seven in 1996. He is expected to get a warm farewell from the crowd before he retires from the saddle.
French Raider to Make Trip Across for the Champions Stakes
The Champion Stakes, a race over 1m2f, is the feature contest on British Champions Day, and it is expected that impressive French raider Horizon Dore will make the trip across the channel to take part.
Patrice Cottier’s runner has been successful in his last four races this season. He won the Group Two Prix Eugene Adam at Saint-Cloud back in July, while more recently, he was victorious at Longchamp in the Group Two Prix Dollar.
The French horse will come up against Mostahdaf, defending champion Bay Bridge and King Of Steel at Ascot, as those three horses will be representing the home team. Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered Luxembourg and Continuous, as he bids to win the race for the second time in his career.
Paddington Train to Arrive in QEII
One of the star three-year-old horses in Europe this season has been Paddington. The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner has prevailed in four Group Ones, including triumphs at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
The Irish horse was defeated in the International Stakes at York on his latest appearance, but his trainer O’Brien admitted after that race that it was a mistake on his part to run him so soon after his assignment at Goodwood.
Paddington has been able to enjoy a rest since August, so he will be expected to be much fresher when he takes on the likes of Tahiyra, Nashwa, and Inspiral in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
Flat Trainers’ Championship to Go Down to the Wire
With £4.2 million in prize money on offer on British Champions Day, the results could determine who wins Trainers’ Championship in the UK this season. John and Thady Gosden, Aidan O’Brien, and Andrew Balding all go into the meeting with a big chance of winning the trophy.
It would be a huge story if Balding was able to win the Trainers’ Championship. His father, Ian, was the Champion Trainer in 1971, so he would follow in his footsteps. Balding has some fantastic horses in his yard, and he has a lot of supporting owners, including some racehorse syndicates, like RaceShare. One of their star Flat horses, Scampi, has won twice this season and is one of the great success stories from his yard.
Balding has some big chances on British Champions Day, including Coltrane in the Long Distance Cup, Sandrine in the Champions Sprint, and Chaldean in the QEII. A big day for him could make the difference in his bid for a maiden Trainers’ Championship.
There are a total of six races on British Champions Day in 2023 and the card runs from 1.15 pm to 4.25 pm.