Four Breeders' Cup Challenge Races to be Held at Royal Ascot in 2018
Winners of Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, Norfolk Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes to earn Automatic Berths into 2018 World Championships
All Royal Ascot Races to be Televised Live And Streamed in the U.S. by NBC Sports Group
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 9, 2018) – In its continuing international expansion of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup, in conjunction with Ascot Racecourse, today announced that winners of this year’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), Queen Anne Stakes (G1) Norfolk Stakes (G2) and Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) at the Royal Ascot meeting, June 19-23, will be awarded automatic “Win and You’re In” berths into the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs.
All four races will be televised live and streamed in the U.S. as a part of NBC Sports Group’s live coverage of the Royal Ascot meeting. In the UK, all races are covered on the main ITV1 channel.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of more than 80 graded/group stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positons and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at the 2018 Royal Ascot meeting are as follows:
The Queen Anne Stakes, June 19, for 4-year-olds and older at one mile on turf, will give the winner an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Queen Anne Stakes winners Barathea (IRE) and Goldikova (IRE) also won the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes, June 20, for 4-year-olds and older at 1 ¼ miles on turf, will give the winner an automatic berth into the 1 ½- mile Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Prince of Wales’s Stakes winners Fantastic Light and Highland Reel (IRE) also won the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The Norfolk Stakes, June 21, for 2-year-old males and fillies at five furlongs. The winner will receive a free berth into the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which will be run at 5 ½ furlongs.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes, June 23, for 4-year-olds and older at six furlongs on turf, awards the winner with an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), which will be run at 5 1/2 furlongs.
These races join the 1 ½-mile King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) (G1), run July 28, and will award an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf, as the fifth “Win and You’re In” races to be run at Ascot Racecourse this year. The King George has been a part of the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge since 2011.
“There is nothing quite like the excellence, tradition and prestige of the Royal Ascot meeting, and we are so proud and delighted that the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Queen Anne, Norfolk and the Diamond Jubilee will be a part of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series as we continue to encourage international participation for the World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We thank our partners at Ascot for working with us in accomplishing this goal, and look forward to the outstanding coverage from the NBC Sports Group of these fixtures, and extensive coverage of the Royal Ascot races in June.”
“We’re delighted to be participating in the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win & You’re In’ programme with races from Royal Ascot for the first time,” said Nick Smith, Ascot Director of Racing and Communications. “These are pivotal race meets in our respective jurisdictions and natural targets for the very best racehorses in the world. It’s particularly pleasing to be involved from the start with the development of the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. It’ll provide an excellent new opportunity for European juveniles.
“Recent years have seen numerous Ascot winners successful at the Breeders’ Cup, and it was wonderful to see Tepin perform the feat in reverse in 2015/16, especially being our first year of the hugely important NBC arrangement.”
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” NBC Sports Group television schedule will be announced tomorrow April 10, and the full 2018 Breeders’ Cup Challenge series schedule of races will be announced on April 11.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Since 1711, Ascot has been home to Europe’s premier race meeting, Royal Ascot, Europe’s mid-summer middle distance championship, the £1.25 million King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (July), the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup (August), a unique international jockeys’ team event, and the £4 million+ QIPCO British Champions Day (October). Considered the standard-bearer for international racing within Europe, Ascot actively seeks to strengthen its programme through the participation of horses from all around the world.
- March 14, 2019
Like all of racing we are profoundly saddened by the loss of a life at any racetrack and we are heartbroken for those whose livelihoods are dedicated to the care of our horses. As an organization, the Breeders’ Cup stands for the highest levels of safety and integrity. We support the effort by The Stronach Group to propose important changes and we commit to working with the racing industry in California and elsewhere to achieve meaningful reform on a national basis.
- February 23, 2019
Statement from Breeders’ Cup Limited on the loss of 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway
“Battle of Midway was a gifted and extremely accomplished racehorse. We extend our deepest sympathies to Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and all those who took care of Battle of Midway during his brilliant racing career.”
- February 17, 2019
Inti Goes Wire to Wire in February Stakes in Tokyo and Gains First Automatic Berth into 2019 Breeders' Cup Classic
Shigeo Takeda’s 5-year-old homebred Inti (JPN), the 2.6-1 favorite under jockey Yutaka Take, controlled the pace throughout Sunday’s 36th running of the one-mile, $1,879,000 February Stakes (G1) on dirt at Tokyo Racecourse, winning by a neck over second choice Gold Dream (JPN), and secured the first automatic berth into this year’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.