Understanding the QIPCO British Champions Series

Glorious Goodwood last week featured races in three of the five categories of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and so took the whole competition into its final third. Over the week I'll be taking a closer look at the leading contenders in each category. Before I do that, an explanation of how the Champions Series works.

Over the season, 35 different races make up the Champions Series, seven in each of the five categories: Sprint (5-6f); Mile (8f); Middle (10-12f); Long (14f+); and fillies and mares, which has races between 8f and 12f. The series concludes at Ascot on 15 October with the final race in each championship. The races within each category are selected to give both three year olds and older horses the opportunity of being crowned champion. Thus, there are some races restricted to 3yo horses eg: the five Classics; some to older horses eg: Newbury's JLT Lockinge Stakes, York's Emirates Airlines Yorkshire Cup; and from mid season onwards, all age clashes such as the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and the Doncaster Cup.

Horses finishing in the first three places in a QIPCO British Champions Series race are ranked on the official ratings allocated by the British Horseracing Authority, and the individual championship awards will go to the horse with the highest rating in each of the five categories.

The British Champions Series also includes rankings for jockeys and trainers, though these are aggregated across all races making up the Champions Series. Rankings are based on the number of wins achieved from the 35 races making up the champions Series, with seconds or thirds taken into account only if there is a tie in the number of victories. At the moment, 22 of the races have been run, with 28 trainers and 31 jockeys appearing on the leaderboard.

Tomorrow, I'll begin my analysis of each of the individual race categories with a look at how the sprinters championship is shaping up.

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