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Bateel flies flag for France in Fillies & Mares

19 Oct 2017

The five-year-old filly has been a revelation since switching to Francis Graffard

Since its inception in 2011, four horses trained in France (Cirrus Des Aigles 2011, Charm Spirit 2014, Solow 2015 and Almanzor 2016) have won on QIPCO British Champions Day (from 26 runners) and many will fancy Bateel to enhance that record when she contests the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Trained by Francis Graffard, she was making it seven wins from 12 starts when beating Journey in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille last time.

Journey, who re-opposes, was a four-length winner of the Fillies & Mares Stakes last year, having been edged out by Simple Verse 12 months earlier. No horse has won back-to-back renewals of any race on QIPCO British Champions Day.

Coronet, her stablemate, won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, while the other entries include two further Group 1 winners – Left Hand and Hydrangea, the latter who has twice defeated prolific stablemate Winter this year, will be having her first run over a mile and a half.

Francis Graffard, trainer of Bateel
“This was a very obvious race for Bateel after winning the Vermeille. I’m very glad that we weren’t tempted by the Arc, as this has given her a nice bit of time to recover.

“She’s in just as good a form as before that race, and now I don’t feel any pressure. She’s a filly that has her own character, but she has not stopped progressing since she joined us. I am hopeful that she will put up a very good performance as we also know she goes well on soft ground, and fingers crossed she doesn’t find one too good!”