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Champions Day 2023: Who to look out for on the last day of the British flat season



Champions Long Distance (G2, 1m7f)


Kyprios gave an extraordinary performance in last year's Prix du Cadran, and it cemented a meteoric campaign that saw him take three G1s in quick succession: the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger. After a comeback flop at The Curragh last month, he faces last month's Ebor winner Trawlerman tomorrow, along with two staying greats in Coltrane and Trueshan.


Coltrane won the Melrose in 2020, took the Doncaster Cup in 2022, and arrives with a Sagaro and Lonsdale Cup victory to his name in 2023. Trueshan, meanwhile, arrives with three consecutive wins in this race, alongside a Goodwood Cup success in 2021, a Northumberland Plate in 2022, a Doncaster Cup win this year, and two victories in the Prix du Cadran: in 2021 and 2023.


Champions Sprint (G1, 6f)


With Shaquille absent, Kinross could be heading for a second Champions Sprint win. He's Frankie's second ride of the day, after he hops aboard Trawlerman in the Long Distance. Kinross was touched off by half a length in the Prix de la Forêt earlier this month, a race he'd walked away with twelve months earlier. He comes to Ascot on the back of a second City of York success, and after victory in the Lennox. Last year also saw him pick up a Park Stakes at Doncaster.


Sandrine will be Kinross' danger. Taking this year's Park Stakes, Sandrine beat Kinross by a neck in the Lennox of 2022. Her two-year-old campaign, meanwhile, saw successes in the Albany and Duchess of Cambridge. Elsewhere, there's Palace House winner Vadream, alongside Run To Freedom, Swingalong and Art Power, who's still searching for a British group win, after racking a collection in Ireland.



Champions Fillies & Mares (G1, 1m3f)


Frankie's Arc mount, Free Wind, sets sail again. Third last in the Arc, she took last year's Lancashire Oaks, and was beaten by a head during the Yorkshire Oaks in August. This year's Nottinghamshire Oaks victress One For Bobby looks to be Free Wind's competition, but they must also face off multiple group winner Above The Curve.


Bluestocking was second to Savethelastdance in this year's Irish Oaks, and she'll be steered by Rossa Ryan tomorrow. Pretty Polly winning Running Lion, meanwhile, has Oisin Murphy aboard, and Jackie Oh is making a reappearance after Blue Rose Cen got the better of her in the Prix de l'Opéra at the start of this month.


Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1, 1m)


Angel Bleu will be joining the French stallion ranks from next year. But he's on the racecourse tomorrow, looking to see off challenges from the likes of 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean and two-time G1 second Big Rock. Those three might only be playing for places, however, as the field also sees entries from the likes of Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace, Eclipse and Sussex winning Paddington. Beaten to third by Mostahdaf and Nashwa at York, he faces Nashwa again today, with Mostahdaf heading instead for the Champion Stakes a race later.


Nashwa, who took the Prix de Diane and Nassau last year, was back to winning ways at Newmarket in July. Tahiyra, though, the Aga Khan's brave filly, looks set to get locked in battle. After a Moyglare last year, Tahiyra sprung back to take the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation, and the Matron at Leopardstown. Rogue Millennium (winner of the Duke of Cambridge) was a danger then, and he could prove a threat again.



Champion Stakes (G1, 1m2f)


This is Frankie's last ride in the UK, and with Kevin Stott's Amo Racing employment at an end, he gets the leg up on Edward VII victor, and Derby second, King Of Steel. Frankie will need to steer past his Juddmonte International hero Mostahdaf, who took the Prince of Wales here in June, after running away with the Darley at Newmarket last year. Mostahdaf is back in the hands of another of our ambassadors, Jim Crowley.


My Prospero, who finished third in last year's Champion Stakes, behind Bay Bridge and Adayar, and in front of Baaeed, is back for more under Tom Marquand. Horizon Dore, meanwhile, looks a potential 3-year-old upset, with a string of ones to his name, after victories in French listed and group contests.


Balmoral Handicap (1m)


Champions Day this year sees not only the crowning of our Champion Jockey (William Buick, for a second year on the bounce) and Champion Apprentice (Billy Loughnane), it also features the unveiling of a Frankie Dettori statue by the man himself.


We finish the day with a mile handicap, and Docklands (winner of the Britannia at Royal Ascot, which also featured an appearance from RacingBreaks Ryder) is the one to beat. Migration will likely throw up a challenge, though, in the hands of last year's champion apprentice Benoît de la Sayette. And Sonny Liston could spoil the party under Ryan Moore.

 

For 2024

 





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