As expected British Champions Day brought huge drama and excitement at Ascot this year. There was a sense of celebration as the flat racing season culminated in a fine day’s entertainment, with plenty of twists, turns and shocks across the meeting’s six races. With punters eagerly examining every bet exchange to pick their winners, some fantastic stories emerged at the end of this unusual year for flat racing.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the racing calendar hard, but thankfully most of the biggest events and meetings have been able to go ahead, including the much anticipated Champions Day at Ascot. If you missed the action, fear not, as we run through all the winners from a highly enjoyable day of racing.
Long Distance Cup – Winner: Trueshan
It was glory for Hollie Doyle and Trueshan in the opening race of Champions Day, as the 11/1 shot claimed victory in the Long Distance Cup. It was a race which left favourite Stradivarius down the list of finishers, as Doyle made it a memorable afternoon, becoming the first female rider to win a race on Champions Day. It was a strong performance from Trueshan, charging clear to seal a remarkable win for Doyle and trainer Alan King.
Sprint Stakes – Winner: Glen Shiel
Doyle was not done there however, as moments later she came out and steered Glen Shiel to victory in the Champions Sprint Stakes. They say that momentum is everything, and Doyle was clearly riding the crest of a wave to seal victory, beating the likes of Brando, One Master and pre-race favourite Dream Of Dreams to finish first. Trained by Archie Watson, it was Glen Shiel’s return to form after losing out to Dream Of Dreams in the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September.
Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes – Winner: Wonderful Tonight
The Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes played out more to pre-race expectations, with 4/1 favourite Wonderful Tonight emerging victorious. It was a fine performance from William Buick in the saddle, and a memorable moment for trainer David Menuisuier as he claimed his first British Group 1 win, making it two wins on the bounce for Wonderful Tonight.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – Winner: The Revenant
The heavy favourite for this one was Palace Pier, who was listed at 4/6 before the race, but he was made to settle for third place as The Revenant went one better on his second-place finish last year to steal victory. The French-trained horse, ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, was second-favourite at a price of 11/2, but made a mockery of that with a stellar performance to come good towards the end and seal victory for trainer Francis-Henri Graffard.
Champions Stakes – Winner: Addeybb
Despite Magical being the heavy favourite to retain the Champions Stakes, it was Addeybb who ultimately triumphed under the guiding hand of jockey Tom Marquand. Ryan Moore, who had a disappointing day overall, was forced to settle for a third place finish with Magical, as Marquand and Addeybb claimed the spoils.
Balmoral Handicap – Winner: Njord
Like Doyle earlier in the day, Marquand made it two wins on the trot to bring Champions Day 2020 to a close, as he triumphed on Njord in the Balmoral Handicap. It was a seminal moment for Marquand, who brought his form from the Champions Stakes straight into the next race and secured a magical moment in his career.