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Almanzor powered to victory in the Qipco Champions Stakes at Ascot with an assured victory from the best Colt of the Classic generation in Saturday’s main event.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt’s victory at Ascot was a follow up to victory in the Irish Champion Stakes, beating Found in both battles. Ryan Moore moved Found up on his outside at the close but Almanzor, the 11/8 favourite, showed a blistering turn of foot to take the victory by two lengths. Jack Hobbs stayed on for third having been forced wide for the much of the race.
Minding was victorious in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Having dropped back to the mile for the first time since defeat in the Irish Guineas, she travelled strongly from the start for Ryan Moore. She moved clear in the final furlong and held off her rivals as they closed late on. Ribchester finished strongly and came within half a length of the winner to take second from Lightning Spear a further length and a half back.
Journey improved on second last year to claim victory in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. Trainer John Gosden and rider Frankie Dettori had targeted the race all season and Journey came good at her destination. Dettori pushed hard at the close and Journey won at 4-1 with four lengths to spare. Speedy Boarding was second across the line before Queen’s Trust beat out Seventh Heaven for third.
Sheikhzayedroad finished with strength to claim the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup. Turning into the final straight the leaders kicked and Martin Harley’s tactical nous was at the fore as Sheikhzayedroad struck for the win. Quest for More had to settle for less in second place with Simple Verse a half length back in third ahead of Gold Cup hero Order of St George.
At Ffos Las, Garde La Victoire held off Welsh Shadow in the Walters Group Welsh Champion Hurdle. Garde La Victoire and Richard Johnson always looked to be better travelling and saw out Welsh Shadow and Davy Russell by nearly two lengths.
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