QIPCO British Champions Day: Five horses who caught the eye in defeat

Tue 22 Oct 2019

After another thrilling QIPCO British Champions Day, we take a look at five horses it could pay to follow next year after good runs in defeat:

FOX TAL (Andrew Balding)

Perhaps the most promising run from any horse in defeat came from Andrew Balding’s giant three-year-old.

Having just the sixth run of his life, he travelled supremely well, despite racing on soft ground for the first time.

Almost the last off the bridle, he took a little longer than ideal to pick up when a gap appeared, allowing Magical and Addeybb to pull clear.

He lost third in the final strides to Deirdre, but connections can head to the winter safe in the knowledge they have a genuine Group One horse on their hands.

MOHAATHER (Marcus Tregoning)

Absent since winning the Greenham Stakes in fine style in the spring, Mohaather had to prove his ability to handle bottomless ground and stay a mile in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

His fitness was always going to come under scrutiny returning from a lengthy absence, but having made up plenty of ground from the rear, he ran a fine race with the future in mind to finish fifth.


What a story this four-year-old has been – unraced at two, winless at three, but prolific this term.

He has improved with every run since winning off a mark of 68 in May, adding five more victories to his tally.

Make A Challenge was supplemented for the Champions Sprint and a furlong out he looked like collecting, before dropping back to fifth.

He has won over five, six and seven furlongs, but it appears that when the mud is flying, he will be better suited to the minimum trip next year.

LORD NORTH (John Gosden)

Putting up a beaten favourite in a horses-to-follow list may seem a little odd, but the way Balmoral Handicap top-weight Lord North moved through bottomless ground, having won the Cambridgeshire on a fast surface, suggests the gelding is going to be a versatile performer next year.

Not many horses win handicaps off a mark of 110, but he came close to doing it in one of the most competitive races of the season. It was only his sixth start and he could easily be one for the All-Weather Championships.

GLEN SHIEL (Archie Watson)

Archie Watson’s relative newcomer ran a race in the Balmoral that suggests he will not be far away in major handicaps next year.

Bought out of Andre Fabre’s yard after a Listed win, this was just his third outing for new connections and he stuck on for fourth.

He clearly handles deep ground well and something like the Lincoln, given his liking for soft conditions, looks an obvious early-season target.

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