Adayar set for clash with Baaeed in Champion Stakes at British Champions Day

Adayar and Adam Kirby on the way to winning the 2021 Epsom Derby. (Pic: Courtesy of Great British Racing).

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ADAYAR makes a belated return to the top level when contests the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 15.

The winner of the 2021 Epsom Derby and King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes has raced only once this term due to minor setbacks that kept him off the track until winning a Class 2 contest at Doncaster on September 8.

That was Adayar’s first run since finishing fifth in the Champion Stakes last October and connections have opted to miss this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in favour of having another crack at the £1.3 million Champion Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day.

“Adayar’s preparation has gone well and we felt this [Doncaster race] looked the right race to start his belated four-year-old campaign,” trainer Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website ahead of the Doncaster win.

“As with any horse following a significant time off, we will be expecting him to come forward for the run.

“He had a nice blow under William Buick this week and we are looking forward to seeing him back on the track. Hopefully, this will give us a good steer as to where we go for the rest of the year.”

Adayar won easily and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Champion Stakes were mooted. Connections opted for the latter, announcing in the week before the Arc via Godolphin’s Twitter page: “Adayar will miss the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and will instead head to the (QIPCO) Champion Stakes at Ascot, where conditions are likely to suit him better.” 

Adayar is 7-2 for the Champion Stakes where the market is headed by 1-4 favourite Baaeed, who is unbeaten in a 10 race career and will be retired to stud after this race.

The Shadwell Estate Company-owned Baaeed is one of 21 horses who remain engaged in the 10-furlong contest at the time of writing.

“It’s going to be a big day for the horse, [Shadwell principal] Sheikha Hissa, all of us, for everybody,” said Angus Gold, Shadwell’s racing manager. “Horses like this don’t come around very often. The main thing is to check we get him there in one piece. 

“At this time of the year things can change quickly, with the seasons changing and with horses that have been on the go a fair while, so we are not taking anything for granted.” 

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