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Rain leads rivals a merry dance in Fillies And Mares

15 Oct 2011

Johnny Murtagh celebrated a quick-fire double at QIPCO British Champions Day as Dancing Rain made all of the running to triumph in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.

Dancing Rain wins the QIPCO British Champions Fillis and Mares Stakes.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Johnny Murtagh celebrated a quick-fire double at QIPCO British Champions Day as Dancing Rain made all of the running to triumph in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes. 

The three-year-old had already won the Investec Oaks at Epsom in June and last month’s German equivalent and she once again proved to be the queen of Britain’s middle-distance fillies as she quickened inside the straight to beat Bible Belt by two lengths, with a further two and a quarter lengths back to the third home Gertrude Bell. 

Winning trainer William Haggas said afterwards: “That was fantastic for us and Dancing Rain is a very good filly.

“If she keeps winning like that she will get the recognition she deserves – she didn’t get much credit for winning the Oaks and because she didn’t do too well in the Irish Oaks [in which she was fifth] her Epsom win was dismissed as a weak race. We always felt she had plenty to offer and I’m grateful to Nick Mordin in the Racing Post Weekender and the Irish Field who steered us towards the German Oaks.

“When you win a Classic you want the feat to be recognised, but I am more keen to support an event like this which I think is such a breakthrough for British racing in trying times. We’ve got four runners today and to have a winner is fabulous for us.”

Of Murtagh’s performance, Haggas said: “It’s always a good ride by the jockey when your horse wins, but Johnny is a top-class rider. He was very cross after the Irish Oaks [in which Dancing Rain was fifth] for not making enough use of her and he came in and said he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

“My wife Maureen rides this filly every day and she said she felt as good as ever coming into today’s race. Full credit to her – she deserves praise, too.

“The plan is to go to Japan on November 13 to run in the QEII Cup won by Snow Fairy last year and we’re looking forward to that and she’ll be back next year with an exciting programme.”

For the full result, CLICK HERE