QIPCO British Champions Day - Horses to Watch

With QIPCO British Champions Day only five days away, excitement is starting to build ahead of the end of season feast of racing. Here we look at the big guns likely to challenge for honours on Saturday.

The Parade Ring on QIPCO British Champions Day

The Parade Ring on QIPCO British Champions Day

Roaring Lion

John Gosden’s superstar is due to run in the Champions Stakes, with his participation being determined by ground conditions. Roaring Lion has had a remarkable season following his 5th in the 2000 Guineas and 3rd in the Derby. Wins in the Coral Eclipse, Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes has cemented his reputation as Europe’s leading 3 year old colt. However, Roaring Lion could run run in the QEII with ground likely to be on the soft side of good. Gosden has confirmed that one final run in these shores will happen at Ascot, before a likely tilt at the Breeders Cup Turf or Breeders Cup Classic in Kentucky.


Roaring Lion’s stablemate Cracksman will contest the Champions Stakes with ground conditions likely to suit. In a run reminiscent of his sire Frankel, Cracksman trounced his rivals in last year’s renewal beating Poet’s Word by seven lengths but has since been under a bit of a cloud following his run in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot. If both Roaring Lion and Cracksman were to run it would set up an intriguing and high class clash between the two.

Cracksman winning 2017 QIPCO Champions Stakes

Cracksman winning 2017 QIPCO Champions Stakes


Another Gosden runner, Stradivarius is unbeaten in 2018 winning the Weatherby’s Hamilton 1 Million Pound bonus by winning the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup. Stradivarius is likely to be a short price to remain unbeaten this campaign and cap a memorable season for connections in the Long Distance Cup. A race he came 3rd in last season.


The ultra consistent Laurens has been supplemented for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and will line up against the boys for the first time. She took down Alpha Centauri in the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend and has since won the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. Laurens is sure to serve it up to the colts and there probably would not be a more popular winner on Champions Day.


French raider Recoletos is set to line up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes following on from his win in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp. France has a good recent record in the race with Charm Spirit in 2014 and Solow in 2015 winning the race and Recoletos is currently favourite to add to the recent French winners. Recoletos has been to Champions Day before running fourth to Cracksman in last year’s Champion Stakes.

The Tin Man

A previous winner of the race in 2016, The Tin Man is likely to make a bold bid for a repeat success in the British Champions Sprint Stakes. Oisin Murphy took over the ride from Tom Queally for the Haydock Sprint Cup which he won in decisive fashion with Brando in second and Gustav Klimt in third. The Tin Man has a strong affinity with Ascot running close in two runnings of the Diamond Jubilee, including a close fourth to Merchant Navy this year, and winning the 2016 renewal of the British Champions Sprint Stakes.

Lah Ti Dar

After a second place finish in the St Ledger John Gosden stated the Fillies & Mares race as her next target. The full sister to champion two year old Too Darn Hot, Lah Ti Dar quickly built up a lofty reputation with listed wins at Newmarket and York before going off favourite for the St Leger. Gosden will be hoping that Lah Ti Dar can win her first Group One and go someway to emulating her famous stablemate Enable.