This year’s QIPCO British Champions Day, which will be held at Ascot on Saturday, October 17, will have a prize fund of £2.5 million for the tenth anniversary of the event.

The figure is down on the £4.2 million paid out during the 2019 edition of the raceday and despite the cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will remain the richest meeting staged in Britain this year.

The Champion Stakes will be worth £750,000 instead of £1.3m, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes has been cut from £1.1m to £650,000 and both the Champions Sprint and Fillies & Mares contests have dropped from £550,000 to £350,000.

Additionally, the Long Distance Cup will now be worth £300,000 instead of £450,000 and the Balmoral Handicap will be run for £100,000 instead of £250,000 last year.

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series, said: “We are pleased to be able to stage a card worth £2.5 million on QIPCO British Champions Day despite our income streams being so negatively affected and the enormous challenges facing the sport.

“QIPCO British Champions Day has seen some superlative performances over the past decade and it is hugely important to us that we continue to make running a horse on the day as attractive as possible.

“We are very grateful for QIPCO’s long-standing partnership of British Champions Series and British Champions Day which has enabled us to make this early commitment.”

Hamilton cancels Friday fixture

Hamilton racecourse was forced to abandon its eight-race meeting on Friday evening due to a waterlogged track.

The decision was announced on Thursday after officials inspected the track on the same afternoon and after identifying a number of false patches, it was deemed the track had not dried enough for Friday’s fixture to go ahead.

Harriet Graham, Clerk of the Course, told the Racing Post: “We’ve tried as hard as we can to get the meeting on but these false patches on the course are unlikely to dry out in time. It is warm and dry today but also quite cloudy and the grass is still wet, so we haven’t even started drying.

“It’s a tough decision but probably the right one, rather than getting everybody here and still having to call the meeting off tomorrow. If we hadn’t been trying hard to get this on we could’ve called it a bit earlier but that’s the way it is.”

Today’s racing

Flat meetings are staged at Sandow, Sligo and Tipperary today while there is an all-weather fixture from Wolverhampton. There is also a jumps meeting from Cartmel.