British Champions Day 2022

All eyes were on Ascot on 15th October 2022 for the 12th edition of QIPCO British Champions Day, the ultimate end of season extravaganza and culmination of the 35-race QIPCO British Champions Series.

With £4.15 million in prize money across the six races, QIPCO British Champions Day is the richest fixture in the British calendar.

The feature QIPCO Champion Stakes, worth £1.3 million, is Britain’s most valuable all-aged contest, while the £1.15 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) is the most lucrative mile contest in Europe.

The world’s top-rated turf horse Baaeed was the headline act as he was aiming to sign off with a perfect 11 from 11 record in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

Elsewhere, Inspiral aimed to become just the second filly in 35 years to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) after Minding in 2016, while Trueshan was going for an unprecedented hat-trick in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said: “We are looking forward to another fabulous conclusion to QIPCO British Champions Series on QIPCO British Champions Day, with stars at every turn and so much to enjoy on and off the track.

“I know that sports fans can’t wait to see whether Baaeed can emulate the mighty Frankel by signing off on an unbeaten career by winning the QIPCO Champion Stakes. That race is underpinned by four other top-class Group races, plus the valuable and competitive Balmoral Handicap.”

Photographs by Ian Yates

1.25pm QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)


Trueshan became the first horse to win three times on QIPCO British Champions Day as he edged out Coltrane in the opening G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The 11/8 favourite was lifted home by Hollie Doyle in a stirring conclusion to the two-mile highlight. Coltrane ran a mighty race in defeat as he attempted to confirm the Doncaster Cup form with Trueshan, ultimately going down by a head. The front pair pulled three lengths clear of Trawlerman in third.

Winning trainer Alan King said: “The ground was right today, and Trueshan had to be at his best. Hollie said she thought with a furlong to go, she’d go and win and win well, but Coltrane was not stopping and he came back at us. He had to be right up there today to hold them off.

“I didn’t enjoy watching it – I’ll enjoy the replay! But he was in a lovely place and travelling well, and I must admit, turning in I thought, we’ve got a good chance here.”

Doyle said: “What a horse. I am speechless to be honest. Alan King is the maker of this horse. From what he has done today on the back of his last two runs is phenomenal.

“It was really rough going into that first bend. I had Wordsworth on my outside. I was caught in a pocket and it was one of them where you either kick in or get flattened. I kicked in and some people suffered as a consequence.

“For someone like me, I’m quite emotionally invested in the sport and days like this mean the world to me.”

David Probert said of Coltrane: “He is a very tough horse and hopefully he can go back into next year as one of the best stayers around. I am sure he will have his day in the sunshine again.”

1.25pm QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2)

  1. Trueshan (Singula Partnership) Alan King 6-9-09 Hollie Doyle 11/8F
  2. Coltrane (Mick & Janice Mariscotti) Andrew Balding 5-9-09 David Probert 10/1
  3. Trawlerman (Godolphin) John & Thady Gosden 4-9-09 Frankie Dettori 20/1

8 ran

  • Alan King – 3rd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Hollie Doyle – 4th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
2.00pm QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)


Kinross continued a brilliant season for trainer Ralph Beckett by powering to a two-and-a-quarter length victory in the G1 British Champions Sprint Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

The well-backed 3/1 favourite had never previously won over six furlongs but the drop back from seven furlongs proved no issue for a horse in the form of his life.

Having registered a first G1 success in the Prix de la Foret 13 days before, Kinross was always travelling well in the near-side group. Dettori made his move early, hitting the front at the two-furlong pole, and his mount saw the race out strongly.

The Henry Candy-trained Run To Freedom outran odds of 150/1 to get up for second, just edging out last year’s winner Creative Force by a neck.

Beckett said: “What a horse! Kinross pulled a shoe off last Thursday and had no shoe on for three days. He’s got paper-thin soles, so we had to sweat a bit. But he doesn’t need work – he trains himself, pretty much.

“I have always wanted to do this – as a three-year-old the late James Delahooke, who managed the stud for Julian and Sarah Richmond-Watson who raced him at two, rang and said, ‘should I be backing him for the Guineas?’. I said, ‘I don’t know, James, but I think he’s quick enough to win a July Cup.’ I’ve always had a little bit of a hankering for him to do it at this trip and now was the time, even with a Breeders’ Cup Mile on the horizon. He’ll go there as well, with any luck.

“He’s better off running than galloping. We are only an hour down the road from here and once we got enough juice in the ground… fast ground over six is a bit of a struggle, but soft ground over six is no bother to him. I was just delighted to see him travel so well when Naval Crown came off it. It’s just great. What a horse he is – we’re blessed to have him, we really are. You wait a long time for horses like this. I trained his mother; she even ran in the Oaks, so for him to be as effective over this trip gives us a real kick.”

Dettori said: “Ralph has been training fantastically this year. Two Group One wins in the space of two weeks for Kinross and we will take him to America now [for the Breeders’ Cup Mile].

“I kicked earlier than I usually would with him. I know seven is his optimum trip so I said let’s go, come and catch me.

“Kinross loves the conditions and Ralph has found the key to this horse. He keeps him happy at home and doesn’t do much with him. He is in tremendous form.”

Henry Candy said of Run To Freedom: “That was absolutely superb, wasn’t it? The cheekpieces have made all the difference to him. He loved the ground, loves Ascot, but in the past without those, he wouldn’t concentrate and the jockey couldn’t ride a race.

“He definitely needed a little bit of headgear on. If he can keep his concentration, he will be a serious horse next year. He’s a great big frame of a thing now – if he fills out a little bit more, he could be exciting. I thought he would nearly win today. He’s in great form.”

2.00pm QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1)

  1. Kinross (Marc Chan) Ralph Beckett 5-9-04 Frankie Dettori 3/1F
  2. Run To Freedom (Godfrey Wilson) Henry Candy 4-9-04 Dane O’Neill 150/1
  3. Creative Force (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 4-9-04 William Buick 4/1

18 ran

  • Ralph Beckett – 2nd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Frankie Dettori – 8th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
2.40pm QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)


Emily Upjohn showed a fine turn of foot to leave her rivals trailing in what had looked a wide open renewal of the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

A dominant three-length success represented a return to form for The Oaks’ runner-up, who was sporting a hood on her first start since blowing out in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes.

Always travelling strongly, the 3/1 favourite unleashed a telling change of gear when Frankie Dettori pushed the button at the top of the straight to settle the contest in a matter of strides. Irish raiders Thunder Kiss and Insinuendo defied big odds to finish second and third respectively.

Winning co-trainer John Gosden said: “I have owners that let me be patient and give Emily Upjohn all the time she needed. I will never work out the King George as long as I live. Full marks to Pyledriver who let everyone go mad up front – I don’t know what they all did, last one to Swinley Bottom is a sissy, or something!

“Anyhow, we gave her a lot of time off from that and gave her every chance to come back and get back here. The whole team have done a great job with her, and to get her confidence back, that’s the other thing. When you run a race like that and finish a distance last, you’re going to be a little shaken mentally, but she showed her class today. She was unlucky in The Oaks and thank God we won a Group One this year.”

Dettori said: “It was a great training performance after three months off. It would have been heart-breaking not to win a Group One with this filly this year after what happened at Epsom in the Oaks. Nothing went right at Epsom, then for some reason she ran no race in the King George.

“John and the owners decided to give her a break. I have been riding her last couple of mornings and she has been given me the wow factor again. It is an amazing job what the team has done.”

Assistant trainer Shane Lyons said of Thunder Kiss: “She has been retired now, so her last run was her best run. The conditions suited her – ease in the ground, a mile and a half, and a good pace. We were hopeful. I thought she’d be in the mix somewhere, because these type of races suit her. The better the race, the better she runs. Maybe we should have run her in more Group One races, but anyway, she has been a star for us, very consistent. We’ll miss her – trying to replace her will be hard.”

2.40pm QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1)

  1. Emily Upjohn (Lloyd Webber, Tactful Finance, S Roden) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-01 Frankie Dettori 3/1F
  2. Thunder Kiss (Newtown Anner Stud Farm Ltd) Ger Lyons 5-9-07 Gary Carroll 50/1
  3. Insinuendo (Deegan Racing Syndicate) Willie McCreery 5-9-07 Oisin Orr 80/1

14 ran

  • *John & Thady Gosden – 1st winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Frankie Dettori – 9th winner on QIPCO British Champions Day

*John Gosden enjoyed eight winners on QIPCO British Champions Day in his own name

3.20pm Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (Group 1)


Bayside Boy stormed home under Tom Marquand to cause a 33/1 upset in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO), providing his trainer Roger Varian with a first success in the mile showpiece.

Galvanised by blinkers, on for the second time after a confidence-boosting success in a Sandown Listed contest last time, Bayside Boy looked out of his ground in a steadily run affair but kicked in the turbos from the two-furlong pole and eventually won by a length-and-a-quarter going away.

Modern Games, a G1 scorer in Canada last time out, coped with the slower conditions to finish a creditable second, with the front-running Jadoomi third. The red-hot 11/10 favourite Inspiral could never land a blow after fluffing the start.

Varian said: “We thought Bayside Boy was a lively outsider. I’m not going to say I thought we would win because he would need to step up massively.

“However, he did have very good juvenile form. He won the Champagne Stakes, was third in the Dewhurst and we had high hopes for him this season. He didn’t enjoy the firm ground in the summer.

“I am delighted for the owners and the team at Ballylinch Stud. They have been very patient with him. He won nicely last time at Sandown, which was a nice confidence-boosting win for the horse.

“I am delighted with him today. He showed a great turn of foot. We’ll enjoy this moment.”

Marquand said: “He is a horse who has a lot of ability. He has obviously been tricky to find the key to. However, he has shown the ability before. The soft ground has helped there and, with the blinkers on, it has all come together. He showed a pretty exceptional turn of foot.”

3.20pm Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (Group 1)

  1. Bayside Boy (Teme Valley & Ballylinch Stud) Roger Varian 3-9-03 Tom Marquand 33/1
  2. Modern Games (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 3-9-03 William Buick 4/1
  3. Jadoomi (Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum) Simon & Ed Crisford 4-9-06 James Doyle 9/1

9 ran            11/10F Inspiral (6th)

  • Roger Varian – 3rd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Tom Marquand – 3rd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
4.00pm QIPCO Champion Stakes (Group 1)


Bay Bridge (10/1) gave trainer Sir Michael Stoute his first winner on QIPCO British Champions Day with a game success under Richard Kingscote in the feature G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes.

The £1.3m contest was meant to be a coronation for the world’s top-rated turf horse Baaeed but the 1/4 favourite couldn’t pick up in the ground and ultimately finished fourth on his final career start.

In contrast, Bay Bridge was ideally placed to challenge off the home turn and relished conditions to see off last year’s Derby winner Adayar by half a length. My Prospero stayed on well to take third, a further nose behind.  

Stoute said: “Bay Bridge was very brave. I am absolutely thrilled. The staff have done a great job with this horse, and we are all delighted.

“We thought the favourite was unbeatable – or I did – but I thought he had a great chance of being second, because he was in terrific shape.”

Asked how it feels to have beaten Baaeed, trained by Stoute’s great friend William Haggas, he replied: “I hope we are still friends!

“I’m delighted to have won two Group One races this year. The staff have been brilliant and it’s down to them.”

Kingscote said: “It is surreal really. I guess we came here knowing we have a nice horse but we were taking on one of the best around. You cannot be afraid of one horse.

“This is perfect to ride beautiful horses like this. They’ve always liked Bay Bridge back home. He looked like he would have a big one in him and, on that ground, he showed he is a really lovely animal.

“He was a bit fresh and ran with enthusiasm the first three-quarters. He was going so well into the turn when the others tried to put a bit of pace into it, but he responded and knuckled down when William [Buick] came to us on Adayar. He put in a very good effort.”

William Haggas said of Baaeed: “It is deflating, but he is still a good horse. I’m sad he didn’t win for him and his connections, as well as all the people at the yard who have worked tirelessly to get him there. There you go, it’s horse racing.

“Jim [Crowley] felt Baaeed just couldn’t pick up in the ground. I don’t know, I need to watch it again. All I know is he didn’t win. I was busy watching the others as well. I tend not to make an assessment straight after.

“Let’s hope this is eradicated from people’s minds quite quickly. No disrespect to the others. I am thrilled for Sir Michael and we have a few horses with James and Anita Wigan [winning part-owners].”

Crowley said: “The ground, simple as that. I turned into the straight and normally where he would pick up, normally he would be able to do it on good to soft, that kick just wasn’t there. It was heavy weather really.

“As soon as I went for him [I knew I was in trouble]. In the past, it has just been instant. It just wasn’t there, simple as that. I pressed the button today and it wasn’t there.

“It is unbelievable the journey we have been on. He is a very special horse and it is sad that he does not finish his career unbeaten as we have come so far. For me today, it was just sad as that kick I know he has wasn’t there.

“Baaeed has captured the imagination and I’m sorry we couldn’t do it today. He is a special horse still.”

Later in the day Haggas added: “When they don’t win, it is usually because they haven’t run fast enough. I know it sounds basic, but it wasn’t Baaeed’s day today. I am sad for everyone at home and connections.

“That is horse racing. He has been a great horse for us and will have a great career at stud, I hope. He is magnificent. I’m just sorry he didn’t come out with a great big crowd on a happy day with a bang, but that is the way it is.

“He has brought untold joy. He is a marvellous horse and a great character. Everyone has loved the journey, obviously my family, but my staff who are so important to the operation. They will be really sad, but they shouldn’t be sad as we have been privileged to have him. He is a belter of a horse and I’m just sorry he didn’t show everyone here his best form today. It’s no-one’s fault and that is horse racing. There are lots worse things going in the world to worry about apart from a few horses going round a field.”

4.00pm QIPCO Champion Stakes (Group 1)

  1. 1 Bay Bridge (James Wigan & Ballylinch Stud) Sir Michael Stoute 4-9-07 Richard Kingscote 10/1
  2. 2 Adayar (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 4-9-07 Jim Crowley 6/1
  3. 3 My Prospero (Sunderland Holding Inc) William Haggas 3-9-03 Tom Marquand 3-9-03 22/1

9 ran            1/4F Baaeed (4th)

  • Sir Michael Stoute – 1st winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Richard Kingscote – 1st winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
4.40pm Balmoral Handicap (sponsored by QIPCO)


Photograph by Megan Ridgwell

David O’Meara saddled his third winner of the Balmoral Handicap (sponsored by QIPCO) when 80/1 complete outsider Shelir burst through late on to win Europe’s richest mile handicap by a length and a half.

Shelir, whose success brings up a century of winners for his trainer this season, had never won off a mark this high but travelled powerfully amongst horses before clicking into overdrive in the final furlong. The six-year-old provided jockey Jason Watson with his first winner on QIPCO British Champions Day.

Sweet Believer fared best of the William Haggas-trained pair in second, with well-backed stablemate Bashkirova failing to threaten. Tacarib Bay ran a big race in the first-time blinkers to take third, with nine-year-old Safe Voyage fourth.

O’Meara, who took the prize with Lord Glitters in 2017 and Escobar in 2019, said: “I am delighted – there is no other way to feel. I came in here with five chances. Shelir wasn’t the obvious one but we felt he raced too keen on his last visit down here, so we made a big effort to get him switched off and it paid dividends today.”

Watson said: “David O’Meara is an unbelievable trainer. He had five horses in the Balmoral and he said ‘look I couldn’t tell you which one is going to run better, but they all have a squeak.

“Shelir took me into the race really nicely and I was one of the last ones off the bridle. I can’t believe how well he picked up. It was a career-best performance and an amazing training performance.

“Shelir has been running in big-field handicaps and won a big race at York. He was rated 103 at the back-end of last season. He had been running OK in these sort of races, but today the market didn’t fancy him and David somehow manages to keep these horses in the form that he does. That is 100 winners for the season for him now.”

4.40pm Balmoral Handicap (sponsored by QIPCO)

  1. Shelir (Akela Thoroughbreds Limited) David O’Meara 6-9-05 Jason Watson 80/1
  2. Sweet Believer (Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum) William Haggas 4-9-05 8/1
  3. Tacarib Bay (J R Shannon) Richard Hannon 3-9-01 Pat Dobbs 16/1
  4. Safe Voyage (Ross Harmon) John Quinn 9-9-03 Hollie Doyle 28/1

20 ran         9/2 fav Bashkirova (12th)

  • David O’Meara – 3rd winner on QIPCO British Champions Day
  • Jason Watson – 1st winner on QIPCO British Champions Day


Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said: “The 12th running of QIPCO British Champions Day has been a spectacular day, with brilliant stories all round.

“Whether that be the Champions crowned before racing, Trueshan and Hollie Doyle becoming the first combination to win races at three QIPCO British Champions Days, a Frankie Dettori double or Sir Michael Stoute winning his first race on QIPCO British Champions Day.”

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