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UK Champions Day To Be Held Over 2 Days
In a bold new initiative, UK racing has taken a "big step" in its ambitions for further enhanced international stature through announcing it intends to create a "£4.5m Champions Weekend' featuring six Gr1 races in 2014", reports bloodhorse.com. Commencing in 2013, the Dubai Future Champions Day will precede the British Champions Day at Newmarket with prizemoney set to be boosted by £350,000 for this year's installment. The Gr1 Fillies' Mile will trade places with the Gr2 Rockfel Stakes and link in with the Gr1 Dewhurst Stakes & Gr1 Middle Park Stakes on Dubai Future Champions Day, while on British Champions Day the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes will be upgraded to Gr1 level and double its prize pool to £500,000. The British Champions Day card will also include the Gr1 Champion Stakes & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Amy Starkey, east regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses enthused: "I'm very pleased that Dubai Future Champions Day will increase its status as Europe's two-year-old championship day by featuring three Gr1 races for the first time in 2014 and as part of a superb two-day climax to the premier Flat racing season… We have made this move in the best interests of British racing, working with multiple interested parties and listening to feedback from trainers who asked us to help resolve the outstanding issues with the 2-year-old pattern." Frankel won last year's Gr1 Qipco Champions Stakes in his final race appearance (see below).