Enable, Almanzor Headline 49 Stellar Nominees For QIPCO Champion Stakes

by | 08.09.2017 | 11:09am
Frankie Dettori has time to celebrate on brilliant King George winner Enable

Superstar filly Enable heads a stellar list of entries for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

John Gosden's dual Oaks heroine beat the boys and her elders in scintillating style in last month's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the Berkshire circuit and holds engagements in both the Champion Stakes and the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on October 21.

Enable is due to make her next appearance in next month's Yorkshire Oaks and while the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has been pencilled in as Enable's primary autumn target, connections are not ruling out taking in Champions Day along the way.

Gosden said: “Obviously she has been entered in both Ascot races and there is a week longer between the Arc and Champions Day this year.

“That means from a trainer's point of view, you're not trying to back up in 13 days at Ascot this year – there are 20 this time – so all possibilities are open.”

Enable is one of 49 horses entered for the Champion Stakes, with last year's winner Almanzor among her potential rivals.

Jean-Claude Rouget's colt has not yet run this year, but is set for an imminent return.

“I have yet to make any decisions, and we will know more after Almanzor's comeback race on August 15 in the Prix Gontaut-Biron,” the trainer said.

He satisfied me when working last Tuesday and although he won't be 100% fit, I'm hopeful of a good performance.”

Other Champion Stakes contenders include Almanzor's fellow French-trained colt Zarak and Coral-Eclipse one-two Ulysses and Barney Roy.

Barney Roy's trainer, Richard Hannon, said: “Barney Roy has been entered in both the Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champions Day is a target for him.

“I'm not sure which race he goes for, it really depends how his next race goes.”

No trainer has more entries on Champions Day than Aidan O'Brien.

The Ballydoyle handler's contenders for the 10-furlong showpiece include Winter, Churchill and Highland Reel.

“It's a brilliant meeting, but it's tough, it's very competitive,” said O'Brien.

“All of the good horses from the whole year are lining up, so we know it's always going to be tough.”

Overall Champions Day has attracted 242 entries including 48 individual Group One victors.

There is a total of £4.3million in prize-money up for grabs in the five championship events.

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