British Champions Day is setting up to be a mouthwatering day of top-class action. With four Group 1 contests, it brings down the curtain on the flat season in scintillating fashion.
There are some incredible storylines that are brewing in the lead-up to Champions Day. Whether it be two horses vying for superiority in a certain division, or a jockey bidding for a historic win, we’ve taken an early look at the day’s events to come up with three key factors that are shaping the card into something special.
Titanic Tussle in the Champion
There is no doubt about it, the Champion Stakes could turn out to be the race of the season. That’s thanks to two horses, with those being Mishriff and Ghaiyyath. Both horses have dominated the ten-furlong division in one way or another and it could all come to a head on October 17th.
Ghaiyyath has been imperious in 2020. He’s unbeaten in four starts, with three of those being Group 1 races. Beating Enable in the Eclipse, he posted a career-best RPR of 131 when careering away with the Juddemonte International. He’s the indisputable King of the ten-furlong division, but an up and comer is bidding to snatch that title.
Winning all three of his starts since being upped to ten furlongs, John Gosden’s Mishriff has been highly impressive in 2020. Easily taking Listed honours on return, he’s been shipped to France in two subsequent starts to record facile successes over strong fields. That includes a Group 1 success in the form of the French Derby.
Both horses are special and we just have to keep our finger’s crossed that the two take their place in a months time.
Can Palace Pier remain perfect?
Unbeaten in five career starts, Palace Pier has been imperious this season. It’s hard to believe that he started the campaign winning a handicap at Newcastle off a mark of 98. He’s jumped straight out of handicaps to win a pair of Group 1 races and it’s fair to say, he’s been faultless.
His turn of foot has been something extraordinary, using it to devastating effect to win the St James’s Palace and Prix Jacques le Marois. Such is his reputation now, that’s he’s odds on with all firms to win the Queen Elizabeth II.
That comes against a field that potentially will include Pinatubo, Kameko, Terebellum, Benbatl and Circus Maximus. Many will already think it, but a win on Champion’s Day would surely crown him as the champion three-year-old.
Hollie Doyle’s crowning moment?
It’s been a season of pure wonderment for Hollie Doyle. Riding an historic five-timer at Windsor last month, she had her first domestic Group 1 ride at Haydock last weekend aboard Glen Shiel. In typical Doyle fashion, she never gave up on the improving six-year-old who finished a gutsy second in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
Beaten by Dream Of Dreams, the pair will be looking for revenge in the British Champions Sprint. Given the incredible success that Doyle has enjoyed in 2020, it seems only right that the season would be capped off by a maiden Group 1 victory.