After a strange few months, and all the implications that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to world, not just in horse racing, the flat race season is over for another a year. British Champions Day at Ascot was its usual star-studded finale, despite the meeting being held behind closed doors.
There was still plenty of drama, with punters frantically scrambling for the most recent horse racing odds. So, let’s look back at all the winners from British Champions Day.
Long Distance Cup
All eyes were on the John Gosden-trained stayer Stradivarius, as the six-year-old looked to regain his Long Distance Cup crown, having previously won the race in 2018. However, the strong favourite sat in the middle of the field, going on to finish a disappointing 12th, as he suffered on the soft ground.
Instead, Hollie Doyle made history as she became the first female jockey to win a race on British Champions Day – on board Trueshan. It was a dominant performance, with the duo looking strong ahead of the final turn. Under Doyle’s guidance, Trueshan went up a gear and stormed away from the opposition, finishing seven-and-a-half lengths ahead of nearest challenger, Search For A Song.
And Doyle wasn’t done yet. After a win in the day’s first race, she made it two out of two, becoming the first female jockey to win a Group 1 race at the Ascot centrepiece. The Sprint Stakes was very competitive, but the jockey oozed confidence as she took up a prominent position on Glen Shiel.
Going into the final three furlongs, the six-year-old was joined at the front by Oxted, and while the pair tussled for the lead, the July Cup winner trailed off. In the end, it was an exciting affair, with a photo-finish needed to determine the winner – Glen Shiel or Brando. The former won by a nose.
Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes
It was a day of firsts, as French trainer David Menuisier secured his first British Champions Day Group 1 winner, with the favourite Wonderful Tonight. It was a very open race, but jockey William Buick set the pace early on, before exerting his authority over the rest of the field – despite late challenges from both Dame Malliot (with Doyle looking for her third win of the day) and Meediyah.
Adding to her win earlier this month at Longchamp in the Prix de Royallieu, the three-year-old looked very much the worthy winner, with a margin of two-and-a-half lengths separating Wonderful Tonight from Dame Malliot.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
After finishing second in the same race just last year, The Revenant returned to snatch Group 1 glory in the QEII Stakes. While it was a narrow defeat last year – one-and-a-quarter lengths behind King Of Change – it was by even slimmer margins this time, as The Revenant beat Roseman by a head.
The much-fancied Palace Pier lost a shoe en route and could only finish third. But this race was all about the French-bred, who had only featured once this season, but was an excellent winner earlier in the month, at Longchamp. And it was a maiden victory at British Champions Day for jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot.
It has been a remarkable season for Addeybb and jockey Tom Marquand, and the duo capped it off in some style, with victory at Ascot in the Champions Stakes. The early favourite, Aidan O’Brien’s Magical could only finish third as Addeybb was just too good on his preferred soft ground.
Sat behind Derby hero Serpentine, the six-year-old took up his usual position at the front of the field, and throughout the race, there wasn’t too much change in the positions. As the pace increased, Addeybb began to charge and Marquand added to his group one success in the St. Leger, winning by two-and-a-quarter lengths.