So many talking points, but that's all from Ascot. Thanks for joining me for the blog today.
In contrast, Minding seemed to benefit from a perfect tow behind the Godolphin pacemaker and Moore struck for home at just the right point. It was fascinating to see Ribchester rallying close home having raced quite so freely in the early stages and given the way he has progressed this season, I just wonder whether he might be the one to give Godolphin the 8-10-furlong superstar they crave so much next season...
Ryan Moore will be going home having got the job done on Minding, having won his first-ever Champions Day contest, but also possibly thinking about what might have been. Aidan O'Brien said both Order Of St George and Seventh Heaven "ran well but both races were a bit messy". I'm not sure backers of either will be quite so easily placated, but that's racing.
It's almost impossible to try and wrap up a day when quite so much has happened. We've certainly had the odd hard-luck story and a couple of slightly-questionable rides/results, but both Almanzor and Minding are undoubted champions and their performances have entirely lived up to what the day is supposed to be about.
And there it is - RESULT STANDS
Nobody seems to think there's any danger of the result being changed. Even a noted pessimist like Roger Charlton happily gives an interview about what a good day it's been.
Stewards' enquiry called - Yuften undoubtedly interfered with most of the rest, drifting left having hit the front. But these things don't get changed, do they...
Charlton>Gosden>O'Meara>Haggas - not quite the big-money race for the minnows - mind you, I can't really see any minnows in the line-up.
BALMORAL HANDICAP - RESULT: 1st Yuften 12/1 2nd Remarkable 3rd Firmament 4th Afjaan
They're off for the Balmoral!
So many things to keep tabs on today, but no doubt that reports into Almanzor's victory will now all be mentioning what did or didn't happen in the racecourse stables!
They're behind the stalls for the Balmoral Handicap by the way.
The key thing to highlight here is the word "allowable". Nevertheless...
An interesting postscript to Almanzor's win is emerging with the following announcement from the stewards:
"The Stewards held an enquiry following a report from the Equine and Welfare Integrity Officer that an employee of Jean Claude Rouget, the trainer of ALMANZOR (FR), had brought into the stables an allowable substance without the permission of the Veterinary Officer. They interviewed the trainer, two Equine and Welfare Integrity Officers and the Veterinary Officer. Having heard their evidence, the Stewards referred the matter to the Head Office of the British Horseracing Authority under Rule (G)2.6.1. They further ordered ALMANZOR (FR) to be routine tested."
Connections of Jack Hobbs (perhaps understandably, given who they are) are looking at the Dubai Sheema Classic for Jack Hobbs rather than the Breeders' Cup.
Almanzor vs Minding - the re-match. Wonder if we'll see that next season. Both stay in training. Ribchester too.
Christophe Soumillon is asked whether Almanzor is an Arc horse for next season, his connections having taken the decision to miss the race this year and go here instead. "I think he just answered that," says Soumi. "I didn't want to give Found the chance to take a length out of me, so I had to go early. I was worried I had gone too early for a few seconds, but when he heard them coming at him, he went on again. He is a special horse. The more he is going to run, the more he is going to win like he did today, the more he is going to prove to everyone just how special he is."
A woman is now singing Nessun Dorma as Almanzor returns. For about 25 seconds, the racecourse falls eerily quiet just at the time you might be expecting the most noise. It's an odd, odd thing.
If there's one to mark up, it's Jack Hobbs, who was held up in rear and never really going to have a chance with the race panning out as it did - but still stayed on takingly for third place around the wide outside of the pack. What's left for him this year? The Breeders' Cup? That Group One in Germany?
If Christophe Soumillon could have mapped out just how he would have wanted the race to go, that's pretty much what he would have chosen. The gaps opened perfectly when he wanted them and his willing partner simply cruised through the race and handled the fact that there was a fairly slow pace with the ease of a champion.
Now you can argue if you backed Found, that you might have preferred her to be in front of Almanzor coming off the bend rather than adrift, but at the end of the day the best horse won there.
3.45 ASCOT - QIPCO CHAMPION STAKES: 1st Almanzor 2nd Found 3rd Jack Hobbs
Pas de problem
They're going in. Another fascinating race coming up on a fascinating day of action.
Found now very popular - Almanzor out to 6/4. Are they worried about Christophe Soumillon? Stall one? Or both?
Found now being supported in oppositon to Almanzor but there's little outside the front two being backed. It's not easy to see an each-way angle, with questions hanging over Jack Hobbs' wellbeing. Maybe I'm missing something - I usually am (see below).
Too soft for Limato, too quick for Fascinating Rock. The world's gone crazy.
I appear to have missed the news that Fascinating Rock was pulled out of this race about 25 minutes ago "due to the ground". Apologies.
I just wonder whether the run of Order Of St George in the opener, 13 days after Chantilly, is putting punters off Found here, because there isn't much between her and Almanzor on their Irish Champion Stakes form.
Here's Almanzor - rock-solid as favourite at around the even-money mark.
Onwards to the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
No, it's Godolphin who win it. I wonder what Sheikh Mohammed makes of the first year under John Ferguson's stewardship. Some highs, some not-quite-so-highs. No superstars. Mmm...
Her Majesty appears from out of the secret door to present the prize to Derrick Smith - does that £655,000 win him the owners' championship or does the £248,000 contributed by Ribchester mean they will finish on top?
Ryan Moore on Minding: "She's got an awful lot of versatility and an awful lot of talent - it's talent that means she can do these feelings."
That's surely got to be it for the year with Minding now. She's as hard as nails and showed sheer pace to take a crucial two lengths out of the runner-up between the two-furlong and furlong pole.
A lot of talking points to come out of that race though and plenty of analysis is going to be required of this day as a whole. Ryan Moore hasn't enjoyed much fortune so far today, but he had a perfect sit here behind the Godolphin pacemaker and got first run on Ribchester a furlong and a half out. That sudden move might just have proved decisive as Minding suddenly had Ribchester and the rest on the ropes, but at the same time it also left the winner vulnerable because she'd given her best shot so early in the race and she was paddling close home as Ribchester rallied.
And there you have it - she's just the best three-year-old around - for the next half an hour anyway!
QUEEN ELIZABETH II STAKES - RESULT: 1st Minding 2nd Ribchester 3rd Lightning Spear
They're nearly all in for the QEII. A great renewal.
Minding heads the betting from Ribchester, but Galileo Gold is very solid at 11/2 and Awtaad isn't without his supporters either at 8/1.
Here she is. To my untrained eye, she looks in marvellous shape.
Minding has near enough been the smash hit of the season so far and if she wins this she will surely end up as the horse of 2016. If you fancy taking Sky Bet's PRICE BOOST now, click here for 9/4 instead of the more widely-available 2/1.
No further time to mull over that result though - we're on to the QEII and the clash between no less than FOUR Classic winners and the fast-improving Ribchester.
Interesting view - and we certainly didn't see her at her best today for whatever reason
Gosden, who has an uncanny record at being 100% right, goes on to say that he knew "after four strides" that Shalaa was over-racing in the Sprint and wouldn't win. I'd love to be able to use his mighty brain to bet with in-running. You'd make a killing.
Frankie says he's trying to persuade connections to take Journey to the Breeders' Cup now - Gosden says the decision will be "up to man who owns and bred her".
Winning owner George Strawbridge seems like a jolly nice chap, doesn't he? He always seems to fly in from the US when he has a big-race winner too. I wish I was his travel agent. "You're going to have another winner, are you George? Lovely stuff..."
Headless Dettori shocker...