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Guide to Racing

British Champions Stakes

The Qipco British Champions Stakes is a middle-distance race run on British Champions Day. It boasts the biggest prize pot of the £4.2 million raceday and once overtook the Derby as Britain’s richest race, although the Derby reclaimed that title. Originally run at Newmarket, it was moved to Ascot in 2011 where its prize pot was boosted dramatically. In 2012 the legendary Frankel had his final race in the Champion Stakes, notching his 14th consecutive victory.

  • Length of the race – One mile and two furlongs.
  • Where to watch – RTV and ITV.
  • When to watch – Saturday, October 19 at 3.50pm.
  • Prize-money – The race is worth £1,300,000, with £737,230 going to the winner.
  • Course – The race is run at Ascot racecourse.
  • Race type – Group 1.
  • Weights –Three-year-olds carry 9st 1lb, horses aged four and older carry 9st 5lb. There is a 3lb weight allowance for fillies and mares
  • Ages – The race is open to horses aged three and older.
  • Sponsor – Qipco have sponsored the race since 2011.

Key trials

The Juddmonte International at York and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes are both Group 1 contests over the same distance, the latter over the same course, so naturally these feed into the Champion Stakes. In France, the Prix Ganay at Longchamp provides Group 1 competition over a mile and two furlongs, so this can be responsible for runners in the Ascot finale. The Irish Champion Stakes is also a key trial, with five horses having completed the double – most recently Almanzor in 2016.

What happened last year?

Cracksman bowed out in style and defended his Champion Stakes crown with a six-length demolition of Crystal Ocean. The son of Frankel evoked memories of his father as he pulled clear of a classy field, the race wrapped up two furlongs from home. The victory was achieved with such ease that jockey Frankie Dettori began punching the air with half a furlong left.

Where can I get Champions Day tickets?

Champions Day tickets can be purchased from the Ascot website here.

Racing Post staff
Published on 3 February 2023Last updated 12:24, 3 February 2023