A star-studded cast remains on course for the 10th running of QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 17th October after the latest forfeit stage.
This includes a record number of acceptors at this stage for the headline race of the day and the most valuable race this year, the QIPCO Champion Stakes, with 29 standing their ground.
The most valuable raceday in Great Britain this year remains on the cards for a string of headline acts including the world’s highest-rated racehorse, Ghaiyyath, who could take his place in the QIPCO Champion Stakes against Magical, bidding to become the first horse to win a race at three different QIPCO British Champions Days.
QIPCO British Champions Day features four Group 1 races, a Group 2 and a competitive mile handicap.
In total, 38 Group 1 winners remain entered and, between them, they have accumulated 84 victories at the highest level.
EGAN EAGER TO SEIZE CHANCE ON MISHRIFF IN QIPCO CHAMPION STAKES
David Egan is counting down the days to the biggest ride of his short career, when he is due to be reunited with ante-post favourite Mishriff in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 17th October.
It has been a difficult year for most of course, but being unable to partner Prince Faisal’s hugely progressive colt in either the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly or the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville has made it especially difficult from a professional point of view for former champion apprentice Egan – not that he is one to dwell on the negatives.
The 21-year-old, who missed the French Derby owing to coronavirus travel restrictions and then Deauville through an untimely suspension, said: “Everyone has been affected by coronavirus and there are much more important things to worry about than missing those rides. That kind of thing goes with the job, and I’m just delighted that Mishriff has gone on to prove himself a champion and that I’m lucky enough to be able to get back on him.”
It would be perfectly understandable if Egan watched Mishriff’s French wins with mixed feelings, but he said: “Look, I’m retained by Prince Faisal and so I want his horses to do as well as they can, whether I’m the one riding them or not. I was over the moon watching Mishriff win the French Derby, thinking I’d be able to ride him next time, and then it was just unfortunate I couldn’t get back on him at Deauville. But I’ve had some good days on him, and hopefully there will be many more.”
Egan grew up in a family steeped in racing, as a son of jockey John Egan and trainer Sandra Hughes, a nephew of three-time champion jockey Richard Hughes, and a grandson of the legendary Dessie Hughes, so he is unlikely to be troubled by big-race nerves at Ascot on Saturday 17th October.
He has complete confidence in Mishriff and he is excited at the possibility of winning such a prestigious race on such a huge occasion.
He said: “I rode Mishriff for the first time when he won by ten lengths at Nottingham last year, and then I was on him again when he was a good second in the Saudi Derby, when he made up a lot of ground in the straight after being a bit slow out of the gates.
“When we went to Newmarket in June most people seemed to be expecting his stable-mate Waldkonig to win, but Mishriff showed he was still improving by winning really well. He’s gone on improving since, and it’s been great to see. It’s a privilege to ride him.
“He’s so straightforward and he really tries for you. He’s got a very low head carriage and he just eats up the ground. He’s gone on good going, he’s gone on bottomless ground and he’s gone on dirt, so he’s very genuine and versatile.”
The QIPCO Champion Stakes has long been Mishriff’s target and John Gosden is optimistic of a third win in the race following two wide-margin victories by Cracksman.
Mishriff sets a high standard and Egan is well up to the task.