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Champion Stakes - 18th October, 2014

Cirrus Des Aigles will be aiming to bounce back from his disqualification in the Prix Dollar on Arc day last time out by bagging a second QIPCO Champion Stakes, as the French superstar attempts to sparkle at Ascot again in what is one of the highlights on British Champions Day.

A winner of the race in 2011, the eight-year-old has since finished second to Frankel and Farrh in the last two renewals and he will now look to return to the winner's enclosure in a fascinating renewal of the 1m 2f Group 1, which has lost some strength in depth with Australia and The Grey Gatsby not lining up.

Dermot Weld's Free Eagle has barely been seen on a racecourse, but the manner in which he won the Group 3 Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown suggested that he's more than capable of landing a blow at this top level and he could one of the biggest dangers to the aforementioned French raider.

Lady Cecil's Noble Mission has progressed into a Group 1 performer this season and will aim to emulate his brother Frankel's achievements of landing this prize and he has to be a major player, whilst former Derby hero Ruler Of The World is a top notch performer on his day and should be a factor in the 1m 2f contest.

Of the others, Pether's Moon has been in decent form for Richard Hannon and has been supplemented for the race, whilst the likes of John Gosden's Western Hymn and the classy duo of Al Kazeem and Sheikhzayedroad add significant depth to the event.

Latest Betting for 2014 Champion Stakes

11/8 Cirrus Des Aigles

4/1 Free Eagle

9/2 Noble Mission

6/1 Ruler Of The World

14/1 Western Hymn

16/1 Pether's Moon

16/1 Sheikhzayedroad

28/1 Al Kazeem

66/1 Ayrad

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Champion Stakes History

The Qipco Champion Stakes is a Group One race run at Ascot on British Champions Day over one mile, two furlongs for horses aged three years or older.

Established in 1877, the Champion Stakes was always one of Newmarket's Blue Riband events as some of the top middle distance runners would flock from all over Europe for ten furlong glory in one of the biggest flat races in the UK & Ireland.

However, in a revamp of the racing calendar it has now moved to Ascot and is the most prestigious event on Ascot's British Champions Day at the end of the season.

Throughout it's illustrious history the Champion Stakes has attracted top notch thoroughbreds and the roll of honour is glorious with names such as Brigadier Gerard, who won back-to-back races in 1971 and 1972 and Rodrigo De Triano, who rounded off his Guineas-winning season with victory in the 1992 Champion Stakes, etched in it.

More recently the French have had a good record in the Group One contest with Pride winning in 2006 and Literato in 2007.  Sir Henry Cecil's Twice Over managed to emulate the great Brigadier Gerard's feat of back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010.

With a £1.3 million pot for the 2011 renewal, it's bound to attract an ultra-strong field with a staggering  £738,000 going to the winner.

Recent Winners of Champion Stakes

  • 2000 - Kalanisi
  • 2001 - Nayef
  • 2002 - Storming Home
  • 2003 - Rakti
  • 2004 - Haafhd
  • 2005 - David Junior
  • 2006 - Pride
  • 2007 - Literato
  • 2008 - New Approach
  • 2009 - Twice Over
  • 2010 - Twice Over
  • 2011 - Cirrus Des Aigles
  • 2012 - Frankel
  • 2013 - Farhh

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