Weekend racing review: The best of Champions Day at Ascot
Does Kew Gardens have the measure of Stradivarius after triumphing in the Long Distance Cup? And what next for Magical after her Champion Stakes victory?
Donjuan Triumphant's poignant victory
There won’t have been a dry eye in the team at Kingsclere on Saturday afternoon as Donjuan Triumphant won the Champions Sprint almost a year to the day since the passing of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
It was wonderful to see the six-year-old win a long-awaited Group 1 on his final start as a racehorse for Betway ambassador Andrew Balding.
Obviously, the result goes deeper than just the winning a Group race for Park House Stables.
It would have meant the world to Vichai to see the first horse he purchased triumph at the top level at Ascot.
Kew Gardens ends Stradivarius' unbeaten run
It was the end of a long, hard season for all of the horses in the Long Distance Cup, and maybe more so for Stradivarius, who kept raising his game with each start.
Nothing can be taken away from Kew Gardens, though, who was a better three-year-old than Stradivarius in my eyes.
Now he's being trained for staying distances, I do think Aidan O'Brien's colt will be very tough to beat in the major races - like the Gold Cup at Ascot - next year.
What's next for King Of Change?
King Of Change won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes like a fresh horse and his connections will have fun in the all of the top mile races next year, most likely starting with the Lockinge at Newbury.
I would have to be wary of what he beat though – the whole field looked very tired.
Magical wins the Champion Stakes
In a world without Enable, Magical might have won so many more Group 1s. She's unlucky to be in an era where we’ve been seen so many good fillies and mares.
O’Brien is a genius when it comes to keeping his horses on the go and getting them to keep producing their A-game at the top level.
It was great for her to win the Champion Stakes and perhaps she’ll be aimed at the Breeders Cup meeting before her well-earned winter break.
Ones to watch
The start of the All-Weather Championships at Newcastle on Tuesday is exciting, and there is plenty of great racing this weekend at Doncaster, Newbury and Cheltenham.
I am looking forward to seeing Evening Spirit run at Kempton on Wednesday. She took my eye on her debut and I think she’ll take all of the beating.
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