Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
ASCOT has announced total prize money of £4 million for the 10th running of QIPCO British Champions Day on October 16.
The bumper purse represents a 60% increase on 2020 and is headlined by the richest race in the UK this year, the Group 1 £1.2 million QIPCO Champion Stakes, which is one of four Group 1s on the day that also includes the £1 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Qatar Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and Coral-Eclipse winner St Mark’s Basilica heads the betting for the Champion Stakes at 3-1 from John and Thady Gosden’s Misriff (5-1). The Gosdens have also entered star miler Palace Pier (14-1) in the 10-furlong contest.
The 2020 winner Addeybb is priced at 8-1. Addeybb was second in the Champion Stakes in 2019 before scoring last year and providing jockey Tom Marquand with the biggest win of his career.
Haggas said: “It was great to win the Champion Stakes last year, fantastic. Addeybb was really on his game that day too. If we can get him like that again that would be great,” the trainer said of the seven-year-old who has now won over £3.5 million that includes three Group 1 victories in Australia.
“Right now he is in a field, but he will have a run before the Champion Stakes. He was a little bit rusty in the Eclipse [when second to St Mark’s Basilica] and the ground wasn’t really slow enough for him, but I thought he ran well and he kept going up the hill as usual.
“I am sure we will meet St Mark’s Basilica again at Ascot. It’s called the Champion Stakes for a reason. It’s where the good ones go.”
Speaking to representatives of QIPCO British Champions Day, Haggas said: “QIPCO British Champions Day is a huge and momentous occasion. It’s the culmination of a long season in Britain. Everyone wants to win there. The purists may think it is too late but it’s fantastic racing and it’s not always heavy.”
John Gosden added: “QIPCO British Champions Day has become the definitive season-ending meeting. It has attracted a much younger crowd, and with Group 1s from six furlongs to a mile and a half, as well as a very valuable Group 2 for stayers it provides a great array of opportunities.”
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