ASCOT, ENGLAND (Oct. 16, 2021) – Le Haras De La Gousserie’s Sealiway (FR) struck for France to win a thrilling renewal of the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. With this victory, Sealiway gained an automatic place in the US$4 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.
Sealiway was last seen only 13 days ago when finishing fifth in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). Trained by Cedric Rossi, the 3-year-old colt came from off the pace to lead in the straight and dug deep to hold off a late challenge from Dubai Honour (IRE). The eventual winner was three-quarters of a length clear under jockey Mickael Barzalona in a pulsating finish. The Irish-trained Mac Swiney (IRE) kept on for third, with favorite Mishriff (IRE) back infourth.
Following his success, Barzalona said: “It is great to be part of this big event and I have been lucky with this horse. It is the beginning and he deserved to prove his talent like he did today. The team were very confident – it was tough race, but he did it well.”
Off at 12/1, Sealiway, a chestnut son of Galiway (GB) out of the Kendargent (FR) mare Kensea (FR), finished the 1 ¼ miles in 2:08:31 over a course listed as good to soft, and soft in places.
Baaeed dominates Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Shadwell Estate Company’s Baaeed (GB) retained his unbeaten record by winning the 1-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) (G1). The victory secured the son of Frankel (GB) an automatic starting position and fees paid into this year’s US$2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Baaeed (2/1), trained by William Haggas and ridden by Jim Crowley, travelled strongly throughout the race and showed a sparkling turn of foot in an exciting finish. The 3-year-old holding off favorite Palace Pier (GB) by a neck, with Lady Bowthorpe (GB) running another big race in third.
Crowley, speaking after the race, said: “He’s just a beast, he just keeps on getting better. The ground is a bit slow for him. I think [if there was] quicker ground, he would have probably picked up a bit better, but he’s come a long way in a short space of time. He’s a proper champion.”
Baaeed, a bay son of Sea The Stars (IRE) out of the Kingmambo mare Aghareed, finished the 1-mile in 1:42:57.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Sealiway to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf and Baaeed to start in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will both be run on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winners must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 to receive the rewards.
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Breeders Cup Press Release
Photo: Sealiway ( Ascot Racecourse photo)