• Racing/
  • Farhh Too Good In Champion

Qipco Champion Stakes (British Champions Middle Distance) (Group 1) 1m 2f

  • (3yo+, 1m 2f, Class 1, 10 runners)
  • Winner £737,230 2nd £279,500 3rd £139,880 4th £69,680 5th £34,970 6th £17,550
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 2m 12.02s
  • Off time: 16:12:50
  • Last Updated: October 19 2013, 17:44 BST

Farhh ended his injury-littered racing career on a high with a brave victory in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Farhh: Champion Stakes hero
Farhh: Champion Stakes hero

Training troubles have restricted the Godolphin-owned five-year-old to just 10 races, but he has never been out of the first three and was winning for a fifth time.

And he goes to Dalham Hall Stud on the back of a hard-fought victory, despite being off the track after winning the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.

Advertising the skills of his handler Saeed bin Suroor, Farhh (11-4) needed stamina and courage in equal fashion but his Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa kept him up to his work to hold off the 2011 winner Cirrus Des Aigles by just a neck.

Ruler Of The World, the Epsom Derby winner, was half a length away in third.

Both the first and second had been no match for Frankel last year but with one champion retired to stud, the space was there for another star to emerge.

Cirrus Des Aigles ran an amazing race for a seven-year-old and Ruler Of The World bounced right back to his best after disappointing in the Arc two weeks ago.

Of the rest, Hillstar ran too keen early on, while Mukhadram, employing different tactics after being dropped out, stayed on one-paced to finish fifth, with Farhh's stablemate Hunter's Light fourth after making the running.

Bin Suroor said: "He's a great fighter - every year he has had problems.

"He won first time out as a two-year-old and was then injured. We've always had problems with him and he has to have a different programme of training to all the other horses in the stable.

"I know this horse well and he has class. The ground was the question mark for him today. He had not run on anything as soft as this.

"You have to look after him really well just to keep him sound. It wasn't really easy to train him, if you put any pressure on you know what will happen.

"He looked the best ever today and he ran his greatest race.

"He is a great horse and I'm so happy.

"Hunter's Light was in the race not to be a pacemaker but to do his best and the best horse won."

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  • but James Fanshawe's Seal Of Approval was to run out an impressive winner...
  • ...and Olympic Glory proves much the best in the QEII Stakes.
  • to provide yet another Group One winner for Richard Hughes.
  • Reigning champion Cirrus Des Aigles (rights) attempts to deliver his challenge to Farhh (right)...
  • and Silvestre de Sousa can't hide his delight as Farhh passes the post in the Champion Stakes...
  • and earns an immediate retirement following victory.
All the best photos from QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

De Sousa said: "He travelled like a dream, and like the winner, through the race.

"He's a marvellous horse and I'm delighted."

Trainer Corine Barande-Barbe said of the runner-up: "He's run a very good race, having come back for the third year in a row.

"But I felt because of his bad draw it meant he couldn't get out before Farhh, who had a bit of a start on him and you can't afford that against a horse like him.

"I hope he has silenced the doubters who have criticised him this year and hopefully he will come back next year.

"I don't know if he'll run again this year, it's up to the owners."

Aidan O'Brien said of Ruler Of The World: "He has run a tremendous race against older horses and he's another horse to look forward to next year over 10 furlongs or a mile and a half."


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