The QIPCO British Champions Series unites the country’s top 35 Flat races under one banner, throwing the spotlight on the very best of British Flat racing and providing greater context to the season. Its main aim is to broaden the appeal of the sport in the UK.
The Series launches in May with the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile racecourse.
The best thoroughbred racehorses, the most talented jockeys and trainers, world renowned racecourses and top Flat races come together to create a unique offering for existing and new fans of racing.
The QIPCO British Champions Series will reach its finale with the new ‘Champions Weekend’ which sees the Dubai Future Champions Day at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Friday 17th October followed by the QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 18th October 2014.
Prize money over the Weekend will total £4.5 million as the final races in each of the five Series categories are decided.
The aim of the day was to create an established finale to the British racing season, something which it previously lacked, and attract the best horses to compete at it. The inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day was acclaimed by many as the best day’s racing in the world that year and brought a crowd of 26,749 racegoers to Ascot, a modernday record for a Flat autumn raceday in Britain.
The project to transform and modernise horseracing in the UK began in autumn 2008 with an extensive programme of in-depth consultation and research which led to the formation of Racing for Change. It represents all the key interests in British Racing, including the racecourses, owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders, all of whom are stakeholders in the QIPCO British Champions Series.
The go-ahead for the creation of British Champions Day was given by the European Pattern Committee in late September 2010. That left just seven months until the first Series race in April 2011 and in that time a major title sponsor was secured with the signing of a two-year deal with QIPCO Holding, the rights to televise QIPCO British Champions Day were sold, executives were recruited to develop, promote and stage-manage the Series, a Series identity was created and a website was launched.
Structure of the Series
The QIPCO British Champions Series comprises five categories:
- Middle Distance
- Long Distance
- Fillies & Mares
Each features the seven highest-rated races in that category, culminating in a same-day finale on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 18th October 2014.
Throughout the summer, the Series is being staged across ten of the UK’s leading racecourses:
- Epsom Downs
- Haydock Park
- Newmarket’s Rowley Mile
- Newmarket’s July Course
- Sandown Park
The Series encompasses British Flat racing’s key festivals, including:
- The QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile
- The Investec Derby Festival at Epsom
- Royal Ascot
- The Piper Heidsieck July Festival at Newmarket’s July Course
- Betfair Weekend at Ascot
- Glorious Goodwood
- The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York
- The Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster