The richest day in the history of British horse racing is set to captivate an audience of tens of thousands of people at Ascot Racecourse and millions more watching on television in 75 countries around the world.
With £3m in prize-money, QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday 15 October is the culmination of the first-ever British Champions Series that began in April and comes to a climax in front of Her Majesty The Queen.
Tickets for the big occasion have sold quickly. All Premier Enclosure badges, as well as hospitality areas, have been sold. But there will be plenty of room on the day for visitors who buy Grandstand tickets at £26 each for adults. Accompanied children are admitted free of charge.
As well as the top class horseracing, an array of ‘Best of British’ entertainments is being laid on for visitors to the Berkshire racecourse:
- Household Cavalry – two Household Cavalry riders and horses in their full regalia will lead the runners out on to the racetrack and accompany the victorious horses returning to the winner’s enclosure in each of the five championship races.
- Legends autographs – five former champion jockeys in Britain (Lester Piggott, Joe Mercer, Willie Carson, Pat Eddery and Kevin Darley) will join Britain’s best ever female jockey, Hayley Turner, who won two Group 1 races this season, and multiple Irish champion jockey Johnny Murtagh to sign autographs at 12.45pm.
- Alternative horse power – a display of Triumph motorcycles (including a bespoke Daytona 675 Sports bike in British Champions Series colours) and vintage British cars.
- Meet the racehorse – after first seeing Joey, the horse originally made famous in the critically acclaimed theatre production ‘War Horse’, visitors can meet and pat former Cheltenham Festival winner Monsignor during the afternoon.
- Equicisors – two mechanical horses used for jockey training will offer visitors the chance to find out what it’s like to ride a racehorse.
- Champion Jockey on PlayStation 3 – with the Move Motion Control System, visitors can experience the thrill of what it feels like to be a real jockey in a race.
- Commentary karaoke – those who fancy themselves as a race caller can give it a go on a commentary karaoke and take away a recording.
- Book signing – Felix Francis, son of legendary author Dick Francis, will sign copies of his new book Gamble.
- The Big Draw – ‘The Big Draw’ is happening across Britain this month and youngsters could win £100 in Toys R Us vouchers if they draw something to catch the eye of the judges. Free crayons and drawing paper given out.
- Great British Brands – thousands of pounds worth of items from great British brands will be on display in the Grandstand, all of which visitors will be able to win in ‘text-to-win’ competitions.
Gates open at 11am so that visitors can sample the build-up to that races that start at 1.50pm.
Rod Street, chief executive of the British Champions Series, said: “QIPCO British Champions Day, the spectacular new climax to the season, is the culmination of the inaugural 35-race British Champions Series which has encompassed the very best of British Flat racing.
“We have been so fortunate to have horses like Frankel, Immortal Verse, Twice Over, Midday, Blue Bunting, Dancing Rain, Deacon Blues and Hoof It, Moonlight Cloud and Nathaniel targeting the big races.
“Sensational racing is in prospect and we hope everyone enjoys a very special day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 15 October and that it sets a benchmark for years to come – a world-class finale for British racing.”
On the racetrack, all eyes will be on the racehorse of the year Frankel who will appear in the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. He has won each of his three British Champions Series races to date, and now goes for a fourth.
The climax of the afternoon is the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes at 4.10pm.
Tickets: Premier – sold out; Grandstand – £26 (with 10% advance booking discount £23.40); children – under 18 years of age – free; parking – free in car park 6; book at britishchampionsseries.com or on 0870 727 1234.