Godolphin crowned Britain's champion owner for 14th time

Dubai racing operations dominate Champions Day meeting at Ascot

Jockey William Buick celebrates with Creative Force after winning the Champions Sprint Stakes. PA
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Godolphin’s Derby and King George winner Adayar failed to fire in the Group 1 Champions Stakes but the royal blues and Shadwell rounded off the final day of the British flat racing season in a blaze of glory.

The two Dubai racing operations scooped three of the four Group 1 prizes that were on offer at the Champions Day meeting at Ascot on Saturday.

Godolphin won the award for the champion owner in Britain for the 14th time after winning more than £5million in prize money while the royal blues trainer Charlie Appleby was crowned the British champion trainer.

Godolphin jockey William Buick narrowly missed on a maiden British jockeys championship title behind three-time champion Oisin Murphy, finishing second by one winner.

Appleby sent out Creative Force to win the Champions Sprint Stakes, the first of the four Group 1s at Ascot.

Jim Crowley then bagged the Fillies and Mares Stakes onboard the Roger Varian-trained Eshaada, and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes atop William Haggas’ Baaeed to complete a magnificent double for Shadwell.

Baaeed edged out Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed’s Palace Pier to complete back-to-back Group 1 wins and stretch his undefeated record to six.

“He's just a beast and he keeps on getting better,” Crowley said of the three-year-old Sea The Stars colt.

“The ground was just a bit too slow for him, if it was quicker he might've picked up a bit better. It was a little bit laboured but he's come a long way in a short time. He's a proper champion.”

Eshaada edged out Ralph Beckett’s Albaflora by a short head with Aidan O’Brien’s Snowfall a further three and-a-half lengths back in third over the one and-half-mile trip.

Varian dedicated the success to owner-breeder Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, who died earlier this year.

“You could say this one is for Sheikh Hamdan,” he said. “He has been a great supporter of ours through the years.

“I'm delighted for Sheikha Hissa and the whole Shadwell operation. I have been blessed to be a part of it throughout my whole training career.

“I'm delighted to get a big winner for them on Champions Day, a Group 1, it means so much. We are all still thinking of Sheikh Hamdan.”

Creative Force bounced back for an impressive win in the Champions Sprint Stakes.

“He's a great little horse, he really deserved this,” Appleby said of the Dubawi gelding who notched four successive wins before three weak efforts.

“He was in great form coming into it and he'd been very good at home. Conditions suited and I was very happy with where we were in the race and it worked out nicely for him.

“He's a real superstar and we thought he'd have a chance in the July Cup and Sprint Cup but he's shown today that he can do it.”

Mickael Barzalona on Cedric Rossi’s Sealiway denied a clean sweep of the Group 1 prizes by the Dubai-owned horses when he took the Champions Stakes from Dubai Honour in the silks of Dubai businessman Mohamed Obaida.

Adayar could finish only fifth after setting the early pace for much of the mile and-a-quarter trip.

Updated: October 17, 2021, 3:57 AM