British Champions Day Preview – FREE STUDENT RACEDAY


Matt Butler

The cream will rise to the top on Saturday as Ascot plays host to British Champions Day, Britain’s richest race-day…and students can be there for FREE.


With a great day of flat racing ahead, the first 2,500 students to claim free tickets online, using the code STUDENTSBCD, will be along the rails at this highly prestigious event, featuring an exclusive student-party headlined by Sigala.


Without further ado, here’s a quick look at who’s likely to come out on top.


1:25 – QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (2 miles)


Ascot Gold Cup winner and third place in the Arc, Order of St George will almost certainly go off as the shortest priced favourite of the day but he can be beaten in a race where favourites have struggled in recent years.


Forgotten Rules, a returning champion, and Quest For More will provide tough opposition but it might be that last year’s St Leger winner, Simple Verse, can show the boys how it’s done on her first attempt at the distance.


2:00 – QIPCO British Champions Sprint (6 furlongs)


Henry Candy’s Limato was withdrawn at the final declarations stages, yet it could well be that Candy’s other horse, Twilight Son, is a more than ready replacement. Runner-up in this last year to the exceptional sprinter Muhaarar and a two-time winner at the highest level, he remains relatively fresh compared to his rivals, is drawn well and will like the ground.


A two-time Group 1 winner in her own right, Quiet Reflection can run her close, with Donjuan Triumphant perhaps coming home next best ahead of the more heralded trio of Mecca’s Angel, Shalaa and The Tin Man.


ascot2:35 – British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (1 mile, 4 furlongs)

Aidan O’Brien has amassed an astonishing 20 Group 1’s so far this year. Despite his dominance with fillies in the past few seasons, this is one race he is yet to win. Seventh Heaven can set that record straight here, with the ground conditions likely to be firm enough thanks to the unusually dry autumn so far.


Journey, last year’s second, and the unexposed Zhukova are credible threats but perhaps it’ll be another filly of O’Brien’s, Pretty Perfect, to follow the favourite home.


3:10 – QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1 mile)


No runners for Her Majesty this year but this is still a mouth-watering renewal. Six-time Group 1 winner Minding takes on some superstar colts, most notably Ribchester and Galileo Gold.


Ribchester notched his first Group 1 success across the channel last time out, finishing well ahead of Hugo Palmer’s Galileo Gold, who didn’t give his true running that day.

Palmer can leave it to a man who knows Ascot so well, Frankie Dettori, to turn that form around to cap off a superb year for the 2,000 Guineas winner.


3:45 – QIPCO Champion Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs)


Arc heroine Found aims to go one better than last year for Aidan O’Brien in the £1.3million QIPCO Champion Stakes, but she may well find herself once again denied by last year’s victor, Dermot Weld’s Fascinating Rock. Having skipped the Arc for this, he can defend his crown ahead of O’Brien’s remarkably consistent filly and the returning Jack Hobbs, who finished third last year.


Almanzor will be expected by many to back up his magnificent performance when winning the Irish equivalent of this race against many of this field. He might have to settle for a place this time, though.


Keep an eye out for one-time Derby favourite Midterm, who perhaps holds the greatest chance of springing a shock against the obvious contenders.




1:25 – Simple Verse

2:00 – Twilight Son

2:35 – Seventh Heaven

3:10 – Galileo Gold

3:45 – Fascinating Rock

For more information on how to get tickets, head to

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