Two Stakes On British Champions Day Join Breeders’ Cup ‘Win And You’re In’ Series

This Saturday, the curtains will close on the British Flat racing season with a star-studded lineup confirmed for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse. Two new Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races feature as part of a stellar card, as the QIPCO Champions Stakes (G1) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (G1) will award “Win and You’re In” berths for the $US4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and the US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1), respectively.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.

Heavyweights Go Head-to-Head in QIPCO Champion Stakes

Ten runners have been declared for a thrilling renewal of the 1 ¼-mile QIPCO Champion Stakes headed by multiple Group 1 winner Mishriff (IRE) and Cazoo Derby (G1) hero Adayar (IRE).

The John & Thady Gosden trained Mishriff, owned by Prince A A Faisal, was last seen winning the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York on Aug. 18, a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). It was the 4-year-old’s first domestic Group 1 success after winning the Saudi Cup (G1) and Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) earlier this year.

Connections will be hoping the son of Make Believe (GB) can reverse recent form with Godolphin’s Adayar. The former coming out on top in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) on Jul. 24 to secure his automatic position in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, with Mishriff 1 ¾-lenghts behind in second.

Adayar returns to the track after finishing fourth in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) at ParisLongchamp last time out. The 3-year-old pleased connections with his work at home, encouraging Charlie Appleby to target a third Group 1 success with the son of Frankel (GB) this season.

Appleby said: “Adayar pleased us yesterday (Wednesday) in an easy piece of work and showed his well-being. He ticked all the boxes and had all his checks. After discussions with the team the intention is to run him at Ascot.

“We are looking forward to meeting Mishriff as he’s the one we have to beat over a mile and a quarter, which is a trip we will be exploring next year as well.”

Adayar’s participation could also prove pivotal to Godolphin stable jockey William Buick, who is bidding to win the British Flat Jockey’s Championship for the first time. Buick is currently neck and neck with Oisin Murphy, with the Championship coming to an end at Ascot on Saturday afternoon.

Trainer William Haggas saddles three in the race, including defending QIPCO Champion Stakes champion Addeybb (IRE). Second in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown on July 3, with Mishriff back in third, the 7-year-old gelding returns to Ascot. He is joined by stablemates Al Aasy (IRE) and Dubai Honour (IRE), who was supplemented for US$102,000. Other notable runners include Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) fifth Sealiway (FR) and Belmont Derby (G1) winner Bolshoi Ballet (IRE).

Palace Pier Aiming for More Group 1 Glory in QEII

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’ s Palace Pier (GB) and Shadwell’s Baaeed (GB) are set to clash in the 1-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (G1).

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Palace Pier has been beaten only once in his career, when third behind The Revenant (GB) in this race last year. The son of Kingman (GB) was back to his brilliant best this season, winning the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury, the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville. The two latter victories securing his “Win And You’re In” place in the Breeders’ Cup FanDuel Mile.

Baaeed, trained by William Haggas and ridden by Jim Crowley, is unbeaten. The 3-year-old son of Sea The Stars (IRE) has won each of his five starts comfortably, starting his season in maiden company to winning the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) at ParisLongchamp in his last start.

His trainer William Haggas said: “He’s extraordinary. I’ve been enormously impressed with what he’s done in such a short space of time, but he has a big task in front of him. It’s a hell of a race – probably the best mile race of the season. I don’t want to undermine the horses that finished behind him at Longchamp, but I’m sure we didn’t see him at his best. You’ll see the best of him on Saturday.”

They are joined by the Andrew Balding-trained Alcohol Free (IRE), who was last seen at York finishing sixth in the Juddmonte International (G1), and QIPCO 1000 Guineas (G1) heroine Mother Earth (IRE), trained by Aidan O’Brien.

Other notable runners include Godolphin’s Master of The Seas (IRE) and last year’s winner The Revenant (GB).

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners to start in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 to receive the rewards.

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