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The QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes

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History

The climax to the seven-race QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies and Mares category is run over 1½ miles (2,400 metres) and is open to all fillies and mares aged three years and older (female thoroughbreds are known as fillies up to the age of four and mares from five onwards).

The race was elevated to Group 1 status in 2013, doubling in prize money to £500,000. It is now worth £600,000.

Whilst fillies and mares can contest all five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, having their own category gives them the chance to shine against their own sex without having to take on the best of their male counterparts.

Dancing Rain, who had won the Investec Oaks at Epsom and the German equivalent during the summer, rounded off her European campaign for the 2011 season in the style of a true champion when making all the running to win the inaugural contest in impressive fashion.

In 2012, the race went to Ireland in the shape of the Dermot Weld-trained Sapphire while in 2013 the race was captured by James Fanshawe‘s charge, Seal Of Approval. The race stayed in Britain in 2013 with Madame Chiang won for David Simcock and Jim Crowley.

But, Champions Day in 2015 provided connections with the perfect celebration of the season with their St Leger heroine Simple Verse, as she won convincingly.

Journey, runner-up in 2015, went one better in style in 2016 but was unable to keep her crown 12 months later. Hydrangea took the spoils in 2017 and a year later Magical, her stablemate, took the spoils.

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Magical conjures up a special display

Aidan O’Brien saddled six in the £600,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes and it was 5/1 shot Magical who provided the trainer, Ryan Moore and Coolmore with back-to-back victories in the 12-furlong event with a smooth success.

The three-year-old daughter of Galileo travelled stylishly into contention in the home straight and quickened up smartly under Moore to score by a length in the Group One event from the John Gosden-trained Coronet, who stayed on well to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of her stable companion, the well-backed Evens favourite Lah Ti Dar, back in third.

O’Brien landed the 2017 renewal with Hydrangea, who finished fifth in this year’s contest and he was delighted to record another success.

The master of Ballydoyle said: “We’re really delighted with Magical. We were always going to take our time on her. She had a lovely position and relaxed lovely, so we couldn’t have been happier.

“We thought she was going to be a real contender for the Investec Oaks at one stage, but suffered an injury beforehand.

“We thought she would handle ease in the ground as she had form on a softer surface as a two-year-old so we are really delighted with her.

“She ran well in the Arc and she was only just coming back to full fitness in that race. Wayne Lordan rode her in that race and he said there was no doubt that she does stay a mile and a half as that was her first time over the trip.”

Moore said: “We always thought Magical was top-class. She didn’t quite manage to win a Group One at two and then things have not gone to plan for her this year, but she ran a real good race in the Arc and Wayne [Lordan, who rode her at Longchamp] was very happy with her.

“We thought she would be a mile and a half filly and the Arc showed that she gets the trip. Today was very smooth the whole way and she had a lovely run round.”

John Gosden saddled the second and third but he was looking ahead, not back, after their defeat.

Gosden said: “Coronet was forced wide by the draw, she got a clear run and ran an absolute blinder – but full credit to the winner – while the other filly [Lah Ti Dar] ran a super race, but as you can see from looking at her, she’s big and rather unfurnished and is a next-year filly when she’s bigger and stronger.

“She will be put away until next year, while Coronet is going to Italy – assuming she comes out of this race in good order – for the Premio Lydia Tesio.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

  • Course plan Ascot Champions Day Course Plan# rvybqbdeszva
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The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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