The five Group races on QIPCO British Champions Day, the richest day in British racing history at Ascot on Saturday 15 October 2011, will be run in prize money order, building up to the two headline contests at the end.
Following the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (race 1, 1.50pm*), the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (race 2, 2.25pm*) and the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (race 3, 3pm*), the tension will mount ahead of the richest mile race ever run in Europe, the £1 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (race 4, 3.35pm*), and the richest race ever run in Britain, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes (race 5, 4.10pm*).
All five races will be shown live in a special three-hour programme dedicated to coverage of the sparkling new £3 million finale to the British Flat racing season and the climax of the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Series.
The broadcast is currently scheduled to start on BBC 2 at 1.30pm before switching to BBC 1 at 2.15pm and finishing ahead of Final Score at 4.30pm.
The sixth and final race on the card will be the £25,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices’ Handicap (Class 2, 81–100 ratings band) at 4.45pm, the richest race for apprentice jockeys in this country, which will provide a fantastic opportunity for the aspiring British champions of the future to demonstrate their skills in the saddle on the highest profile raceday of the year.
This will ensure that the professional jockeys who won the big races and the rider crowned top jockey of the QIPCO British Champions Series can concentrate on a major press conference and print and broadcast media interviews following the running of the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
“Unlike many racedays, when the big race is often in the middle of the card, it has always been our plan to build up to the two biggest races as the climax to this spectacular race progamme,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd.
“This should provide the best possible experience for our racegoers and for TV viewers on the BBC, Racing UK, At The Races and on foreign channels taking the broadcast all over the world.
“Staging the country’s most valuable apprentices’ race to close the card will give the future stars of our sport the chance to share some of the limelight on QIPCO British Champions Day whilst allowing the professional jockeys to meet all media commitments at the end of this ground-breaking new day.”
Kevin Darley, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys’ Association, commented: “Adding the richest apprentice race in Europe to the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day is an excellent innovation.
“It is fantastic that QIPCO are willing to support our stars of the future by providing them with a platform to shine on such a prestigious day.”
Tickets for QIPCO British Champions Day are priced at £45 for Premier admission and £26 for Grandstand admission, with a 10% advance booking discount available and greater reductions for group bookings of 10 or more people. Under 18’s will be admitted free.
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY RACE PROGRAMME
1.50* £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 3 #) – 2 miles (round course)
2.25* £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (Group 2 #) – 6 furlongs (straight course)
3.00* £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (Group 2 #) – 1 mile 4 furlongs (round course)
3.35* £1,000,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (British Champions Mile) (Group 1) – 1 mile (straight course)
4.10* £1,300,000 QIPCO Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) – 1 mile 2 furlongs (round course)
4.45* £25,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices Handicap – 7 furlongs (straight course)
* race times are provisional and may be subject to minor alteration
# the two Group 2 races and one Group 3 contest are Group 1 races in all but name – there are no penalties to be carried by Group race winners and they have a Group 1 level of prize money