A prize-money fund of £3 million may be the main draw for participants in the inaugural British Champions’ Day on Saturday, but the sponsors QIPCO Holding have thrown in several more rewards for two lucky winners on the day.
A working holiday in America is the additional prize for the winning rider of the richest race for apprentice jockeys in this country, the £25,000 QIPCO Future Stars Apprentices’ Handicap, which beings the curtain down on Ascot’s bumper card.
The timing and destination is to be agreed in conjunction with the successful jockey, but it is likely that the fortunate apprentice will be based in California with one of the trainers used by QIPCO Director Sheikh Fahad’s racing operation, Pearl Bloodstock, which has horses with former Newmarket trainer Simon Callaghan and Ben Cecil.
The winner of the Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes (formerly the Pride Stakes) is to receive a nomination to the Sheikh’s young stallion, the 2,000 Guineas winner Makfi, who stands at Tweenhills Stud in Gloucestershire.
Sheikh Fahad’s representative and owner of Tweenhills, David Redvers, said: “Where possible, Sheikh Fahad and his brothers wanted to give added and lasting value to the winners on QIPCO British Champions’ Day.
“For the winner of the Fillies & Mares race there is the free nomination to Makfi and for the winning rider of the apprentice race we came up with the idea of a working holiday in the USA.
“If you speak to the likes of Frankie Dettori, Kieren Fallon or Hayley Turner, they will point to their experiences in America as being critical to their development into top class riders.”
Kevin Darley, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockeys’ Association, commented: “It’s fantastic that QIPCO Holding are willing to support our stars of the future by providing them with a platform to shine on such a prestigious day.”