The British Champion Stakes is another prestigious series that takes place in the UK. Given that it comes with a massive £4.3 million purse that is spread out over the series, it makes it one of the most lucrative racing series in the world, let alone the UK. As part of the British Champion Series there are a number of highly prestigious events. To get an idea of what you can expect, it kicks off in May with the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, which is one of the premier races in the world over the flats.
The series has been running since 2011 and even now it is one that is going to be one the more successful that have been launched in the modern era of British racing. The main reason for this is that not only are they able to hose the best races, but with it they get the best horses, jockeys, trainers and anything else that is linked to the sport. Lots of people describe it as the “best of the best” and given the calibre of racing, we can see why.
To broaden the appeal, there are 5 categories in total that range across a broad spectrum of horses. These include:
The speed machines. The spirt races include 2 races over 5 furlongs (King’ Stand Stakes and Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes) and 5 races over 5 furlongs (Commonwealth Cup, Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Darely July Cup, Betfred Sprint Cup, British Champions Sprint Stakes (Finale).
The Mile section is a little further than the sprinters, but includes the 2,000 Guineas, which is open to three-year olds only, along with the St James’s Palace Stakes. There are 2 races for four-year olds and older, including the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes. The final three races are the Qatar Sussex Stakes, Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (finale and richest mile race in Europe with £1.1 million purse).
Middle distance races will range throughout the year and come in between 1 ¼ miles and 1 ½ miles. Whilst it may seem that the distance is pretty much the same, it can have a big effect on the horses, especially over heavier ground.
Some of the biggest races in the world are in this section, which includes the Coronation Cup and The Derby. You also have the Coral Eclipse, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Juddmonte International. The Champion Stakes, Britain’s richest 10-furlong race with £1.3 million in prize money caps the series off.
Long distance races are some of the most interesting in the series and range between 1 ¾ mile right up a gruelling 2 ½ miles. The Gold Cup at Royal Ascot makes up part of this, along with the Qatar Goodwood Cup, Lonsdale Cup, Doncaster Cup, St Leger and then the British Champions Long Distance Cup as the finale.
Fillies & Mares
The fillies and mares category also comes with a range of the best races in the country. These include the 1,000 Guineas, The Oaks, Coronation Stakes, Falmouth Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes run on Champions Day at Ascot.
The British Champions Series comes to a close with Champions Day at Ascot racecourse in October. In fact, not only is this seen as the close to the series, but also that of the flat racing season as a whole. It’s an exciting day and one of the biggest in the British racing calendar.
The £4.2 million purse for the day makes it the richest days racing in the country. It comes with huge celebrations, a real party atmosphere and a plethora of awards handed out to leading trainers, owners, jockeys and stable workers.