British Champions Day

Winner - BIG ROCK

British Champions Day

British Champions Day marked the final World Pool meeting of the British and Irish Flat season and provided a spectacular farewell for Frankie Dettori as he signed off his British racing career with two wins on the card, culminating in a remarkable victory in his final ride in the G1 Champion Stakes aboard King Of Steel.

It was a meeting punctuated by some superb performances, including French raider BIG ROCK, who put his rivals to the sword from the front under rider Aurelien Lemaitre, and never looked like being caught as he streaked clear to win the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes by six lengths.

It was a first success in Britain for Lemaitre and trainer Christopher Head, and was a performance that was chosen as the World Pool Moment of the Day.

Big Rock’s groom and apprentice jockey Ebbe Verhestraeten was on hand to collect the £4,000 prize and said: “He means a lot to me. I ride him every morning, but there are a lot of people behind the horse. He’s a little bit lazy – sometimes you need to push him a bit – but it’s a pleasure to ride him every morning.

“I didn’t think he was going to win that easily, but I knew he was really good in the morning and that he would love the ground. When I saw it was raining for the whole day, I was happy and the horse was happy too!

“I’m also an apprentice jockey for Christopher [Head]. He lets me ride good horses and I’m very thankful to him. I’m just 20-year-old and it’s incredible for me to be here.”

Verhestraeten will now have the chance of winning a trip to Hong Kong next year should Big Rock’s victory be chosen as the World Pool Moment of the Year.

Champions Day brought to a close a busy year for World Pool in the UK and Ireland, with the 19 race days recording a total turnover from World Pool bet types of HK$4.7 billion (£475 million).

World Pool continues with the Cox Plate Day (28 October) from Moonee Valley and Victoria Derby Day (4 November) from Flemington.

The World Pool Moment of the Day for British Champions Day went to Big Rock’s groom, Ebbe Verhestraeten.