For fans of flat racing, British Champions Day is always a bittersweet affair. On one hand, it boasts some of the best races of the season, but on the other, it marks the end of the flat racing season, and 2021 has given us some tremendous stories and outstanding races.
This year’s meeting did not disappoint, with plenty of drama playing out across the five races. With another flat racing season now behind us, let’s round up how things panned out at Ascot for British Champions Day 2021.
British Champions Long Distance Cup
With those who bet on horse racing hoping for an upset on the first race of the afternoon, the Long Distance Cup went exactly the way most expected, with evens favourite Trueshan emerging triumphant. Ridden by Hollie Doyle, it was a fine performance by the Alan King-trained five-year-old, making it three wins in a row to finish off the campaign.
The real story was second-place Tashkhan, who came so close to upsetting the odds, having started as a 50/1 outsider.
British Champions Sprint Stakes
It’s been a fine season for William Buick, and he was the winning jockey in the Champions Sprint, as Creative Force produced a strong performance to finish first. Leading from the front in the early stages of the race, there was never any stopping the Charlie Appleby-trained horse, who started out at odds of 11/2.
Glen Shiel finished second, whilst Minzaal came home in third. Pre-race favourite Art Power was forced to settle for fourth.
British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
The Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes is always keenly contested, and this year was no different. Three-year-old filly Eshaada was the winner in the end for jockey Jim Crowley and trainer Roger Varian, producing an excellent display to consign the better-fancied Albaflora and Snowfall to second and third respectively.
There was only a shoulder in it, a tantalisingly close finish, but Crowley and Eshaada stayed on strongly to seal the victory from odds of 16/1.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
As one of the standout performers of 2021, it was no surprise that Baaeed reigned supreme in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes to continue his unbeaten record and earn a second win of the day for Crowley in the saddle. It was closely ran, with the William Haggas-trained three-year-old only winning by a neck over second-placed Palace Pier. 40/1 outsider Lady Bowthorpe came home in third.
The result makes it six wins from six races in Baaeed’s career, and the sky is the limit for this talented colt.
The Champion Stakes is one of the biggest races on the flat racing calendar, and there was a memorable victory this year for the 12/1 chance Sealiway, who held off Dubai Honour to win by three quarters of a length. Mac Swiney finished third, while pre-race favourite Mishriff could only manage a fourth-place finish, but this race was all about the performance of Sealiway and jockey Mickael Barzalona.
“It’s great to be back in the big time and be with this horse since the beginning,” Barzalona said. “He deserved to prove his talent like he did today. “I thought I was always going to hold Dubai Honour when he didn’t pass me straight away.”