When the British Champions Series was launched in 2011, some of the major races at the end of the Flat season were redistributed between Ascot – for British Champions Day as a finale to the Series, and Newmarket – to create Future Champions Day as a finale for juvenile racehorses.
In the intervening years the format of the two finales has been varied; including a British Champions Weekend which saw Newmarket racing on one day and Ascot on the other. However, the format now appears to have settled into British Champions Day as a stand-alone at Ascot, and the Future Champions Festival at Newmarket now encompasses the races from Future Champions Day, plus the Cesarewitch Day (which used to be run separately at Newmarket).
In 2017 it will be the third Dubai Future Champions Festival, taking place on Friday, 13th and Saturday, 14th October. It is the highlight of the Gold Season at Newmarket Racecourses, which encompasses the Cesarewitch Trial Meeting, the Cambridgeshire Meeting and Future Champions Festival, all held at the Rowley Mile Course.
With over £2 million in prize money on offer, Dubai Future Champions Festival combines world class two-year-old races with premier older age contests at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.
Friday will feature four Group races with top billing going to the £500,000 Fillies’ Mile, Europe’s joint most valuable Group 1 two-year-old race. It will also be the Autumn Ladies Day featuring the Best Dressed Ladies Competition sponsored by the official Fashion Partner, the Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel.
Saturday will bring another three Group races, including the only other £500,000 juvenile Group 1 contest, the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, not to mention the 179th renewal of the £250,000 Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap.