Racenews - uk horseracingNewslink

Tuesday, January 15, 2013



Frost covers have been deployed over the chase and hurdle courses at Cheltenham today.


Cheltenham is next due to race on Saturday, January 26, Festival Trials Day.


Simon Claisse, Head of Racing at Cheltenham, said today: “The current forecast is for temperatures to remain cold for the remainder of this week, with some very hard frosts.


“In view of this, we have put down frost covers on the chase and hurdle courses today in order to give Festival Trials Day every chance of going ahead on Saturday, January 26.”


Festival Trials Day is the final day’s racing at Cheltenham before The Festival, which this year runs from Tuesday, March 12 through to Friday, March 15.




Britain’s top Flat races once again featured more of the world’s best horses than any other country with the four highest rated in today’s World Thoroughbred Rankings – Frankel (140), Cirrus des Aigles (131), Black Caviar (130) and Excelebration (130) – all contesting QIPCO British Champions Series races during the course of 2012.


Three of them – Frankel, Cirrus des Aigles and Excelebration – ran at the Series finale, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October, providing another great endorsement for the fledgling day which was only introduced in 2011.


In all, seven of the world’s top nine horses contested Series races, bringing in Nathaniel (126), who also ran on QIPCO British Champions Day, So You Think (126) and Monterosso (126). Only America’s champion miler, Wise Dan (129), and Japanese star, Orfevre (127), did not run in the UK last year.


That is exactly the same as 2011 when Frankel (136), Cirrus des Aigles (128), Canford Cliffs (127), Rewilding (127), Dream Ahead (126), So You Think (126) and Excelebration (126) were seven of the top nine. Just Black Caviar (132) and Danedream (128) were missing then, but both came to the UK last year and won Series races.


“Britain is unquestionably the place to see the best Flat racing in the world and the QIPCO British Champions Series flags up to the wider public the races that really matter,” said British Champions Series Chief Executive, Rod Street.


“Frankel may have retired, hopefully to breed new champions of the future, but one can be sure that there will be plenty of outstanding races to savour and many fascinating stories that will emerge during the coming season.”



Fantasy Game proves a winner with the public


Frankel, rated the best racehorse since international ratings began in today’s World Thoroughbred Rankings announcement, was the star of the show in the first two years of the QIPCO British Champions Series and played his part in increasing terrestrial TV audiences by 45%.


In 2010, the year before the Series was launched, the races that now make up the Series attracted a cumulative terrestrial audience across Channel 4 and the BBC of 20.3 million (excluding the three new races on QIPCO British Champions Day which did not have terrestrial TV coverage in their previous guises in 2010). In 2012 the figure for those same 32 races was 29.4 million and for all 35 Series races 32.3 million*.


Frankel contested no less than nine QIPCO British Champions Series races, winning all of them, four in 2011 and five in 2012, culminating each year with victory on the new climax to the season, QIPCO British Champions Day.


Terrestrial TV viewing figures frequently showed marked increases on the days when Frankel raced, but audiences increased for the majority of the Series races.


At the same time, feedback from the participants in the Series fantasy game, run in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph and Racing Post, showed that 75% watched Series races as a result of entering the game and 50% said it had increased their knowledge of the racing. The game attracted over 20,000 entrants, most of whom were Fantasy Football enthusiasts rather than racing aficionados.


“There could be no better indication than the TV viewing figures that the promotion of the Flat season through the QIPCO British Champions Series to new, “non-racing” audiences has played its part in generating increased interest in the top level of our sport,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd.


“Frankel’s leap to stardom and the launch of the QIPCO British Champions Series could not have panned out better for us, providing the perfect foundation on which to build.


 “First and foremost the Series allows us to promote the best racing in the world to a broader audience, as the fantasy game perfectly illustrates, and Frankel has played an enormous part in that.


“We are delighted that he has now been recognised as the best of the modern era, an accolade which is likely to last for a very long time.”


*data provided by Repucom International

designed and produced by Racenews Internet Services