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Monday, June 6, 2011



How long will that last with big guns aiming at next week’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes?


Saturday’s Investec Derby winner, the French-trained Pour Moi, and Ireland’s winner of Friday’s Investec Coronation Cup, St Nicholas Abbey, are tied at the top of the rankings on 122 following the first two races in the Middle Distance division of the QIPCO British Champions Series.


Pour Moi achieved his 122* rating (up from 113) thanks to his scintillating run from last to first to land the Epsom Classic, while the second horse, Treasure Beach, is on 121*(from 107) and the third, Carlton House, on 120 (from 116).


“Because he made up so much ground, I suspect that Pour Moi is better than I’ve been able to rate him,” said the BHA’s Head of Handicapping, Phil Smith.  “I also believe that Carlton House may well show himself capable of better.


“I rated the race through Recital in sixth place, who went into the race on 115 and has come out of it on 115.  Native Khan, in fifth place, goes up two pounds to 118, paying another compliment to Frankel who beat him so comprehensively in the Guineas.”


St Nicholas Abbey, who appeared ill at ease on the track, did not improve his rating as a result of Friday’s win (Phil Smith had him running to 120), so stays on his previous rating of 122.  The Investec Coronation Cup runner-up, Midday, ran several pounds below her best but stays on 121, while Clowance, in third place, goes back up two pounds to her previous best of 112.


However, Pour Moi’s and St Nicholas’s Abbey’s stay at the top of the Middle Distance rankings is unlikely to last more than 10 days. Their position will almost certainly be usurped at Royal Ascot next week when the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the third race in the category, is likely to feature the British debut of the currently 126-rated So You Think, possibly against the 128-rated Workforce and the 125-rated Twice Over, in what promises to be one of many races to savour at the Royal Meeting.


British Champions Series Chairman, Chris McFadden, said today:


“Pour Moi and St Nicholas Abbey, two high-class, improving colts, both of whom will doubtless be capable of running to higher ratings as their careers progress, stamped their mark on the first two middle distance races in the QIPCO British Champions Series.


“They still have quite a way to go to reach Workforce and So You Think who will surely make a big impact on the Middle Distance division next week, or the likes of Frankel (130) and Canford Cliffs (127), who also both run next week in the Mile races, but they put up excellent winning performances at Epsom, especially as neither looked at ease with the unique nature of the track.”


In the third QIPCO British Champions Series race at Epsom, Dancing Rain achieved a mark of 112 (up from her previous rating of 99) following her all-the-way success in Friday’s Investec Oaks. The second horse, Wonder Of Wonders is rated 110* (from 106) with third placed Izzi Top now on 104 (from 100). 


Blue Bunting, who should have finished third had Frankie Dettori not eased up close home, remains on her QIPCO 1000 Guineas-winning mark of 114, having patently failed to run her race at Epsom, inconvenienced by both the track and the slow early pace. She therefore remains top of the Fillies & Mares category rankings.


QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES RANKINGS (based on the Official Ratings of the first three finishers in each Series race)


SPRINT (after 1 race)

Sole Power                         117

Kingsgate Native              115

Prohibit                                                113


MILE (after 2 races)

Frankel                                                 130

Canford Cliffs                     127

Worthadd                           123

Premio Loco                       119

Dubawi Gold                      117

Native Khan                       116


MIDDLE DISTANCE (after 2 races)

Pour Moi                             122*

St Nicholas Abbey            122

Midday                                 121

Treasure Beach                 121*

Carlton House                   120

Native Khan                       118


LONG DISTANCE (after 1 race)

Duncan                                 119

Manighar                             114

Blue Bajan                           111


FILLIES & MARES (after 2 races)

Blue Bunting                      114

Dancing Rain                      112

Together                             112

Maqaasid                            110

Wonder Of Wonders      110*

Izzi Top                                 104


* This is the BHA’s recommended revised rating, but it has to be ratified by the handicappers in the country where the horse is trained


The upcoming QIPCO British Champions Series races at Royal Ascot are:


Queen Anne Stakes (1m, 4yo+), Tuesday 14 June (MILE)

King’s Stand Stakes (5f, 3yo+), Tuesday 14 June (SPRINT)

St James’s Palace Stakes (1m, 3yo), Tuesday 14 June (MILE)

Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1 ¼m, 4yo+), Wednesday 15 June (MIDDLE DISTANCE)

Gold Cup (2½m, 4yo+), Thursday 16 June (LONG DISTANCE)

Coronation Stakes (1m, 3yo), Friday 17 June (FILLIES & MARES)

Golden Jubilee Stakes (6f, 3yo+), Saturday 18 June (SPRINT) 

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