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The Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes

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History

Named after the war-time Triple Crown heroine Sun Chariot, the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes is a prestigious Group 1 contest that showcases the very best fillies and mares over a mile.

Run at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile course, the race was first inaugurated in 1966, initially for three-year-olds only over a distance of one mile and two furlongs. In 1974, the race was opened to fillies and mares over the age of three and amended further in 2000 when the race became a one-mile event.

Between 1978 and 1988, there were four fillies that won the Sun Chariot Stakes before going on to win the Champion Stakes, including Swiss Maid (1978), Time Charter (1982), Cormorant Wood (1983) and Indian Skimmer (1988).

The most successful horse in the race is Sahpresa, who won the contest three times on the trot from 2009 until 2011 for French trainer Rod Collet.

Current leading jockey(s): Ryan Moore, 3 wins (2014, 2016, 2017)

Current leading Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien – three wins each.

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

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

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Billesdon Brook bounces back to her brilliant best

Billesdon Brook bounced back to her best to claim the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes under Sean Levey at Newmarket.

Richard Hannon’s charge was a 66-1 winner of the 1000 Guineas last year, but she failed to strike again in 2018, finishing down the field in this race last October.

The road back to the top has been a long one for both Levey and Billesdon Brook but after working their way up the ladder this season, the pair gained their just rewards in the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Series contest.

In what looked like a fine renewal of the mile prize, the pair left a number of high-profile rivals toiling when producing a performance of the highest order to defeat Falmouth Stakes heroine Veracious by a length and a half.

Levey said: “I can’t put into words how special that was to me. The owners kept her in training and they didn’t have to as after winning the Guineas, there was no necessity of keeping her in training.

“I’m glad they did and she has rewarded everyone for doing so. I think it was 100 per cent better than her Guineas victory as she had to find the best of her form to win. She has not just won, but won decisively and I thought that would have to be her best performance.

“It is my first Group One since the Guineas.”

While Levey is now an established member of the weighing room, he hopes his latest big-race triumph can help open up more doors, just like how he expected his career to develop before suffering a broken collarbone in a fall at Salisbury less than two months after his Guineas win.

He added: “She was nearly my stepping stone as she was my first Group One winner at a perfect time of year in the Guineas. It looked like it was going to be one of my best years, then I had a setback and missed part of the season.

“I’ve slowly been getting back into it and thankfully Richard (Hannon) has given me these opportunities. I’ve had plenty of winners, but I’ve just been looking for that good horse and I hoped it would be Billesdon Brook.

“Winning big races gives people more confidence in using you, if you have been there and done it. You know this game, if you take your foot off it keeps going, but hopefully we can keep kicking now.”

Although Levey was the man responsible for doing the steering aboard the daughter of Champs Elysees, he was quick to praise both Hannon and weighing room colleague Luke Catton for the roles they have played in returning her to her best.

He added: “It was a great training performance by Richard in helping her get back to the top stage and I want to mention Luke Catton, who is one of our apprentices that rides her out every day at home.

“I was helping to teach him how to settle her and it has got to the stage where he rides her out in all her work. He has done a great job.

“He rode her work last week and I wasn’t there with the racing starting earlier, so I rang him up and he said she worked brilliantly he couldn’t be happier with her. I’m glad she ran the way she did.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

Newmarket is known as the “Home of Racing” - and who would argue?

Certainly not James I, the first notable fan who built a palace in the Suffolk town in 1605. Racing fanatic Charles II followed suit, establishing the first horse race ever run in Britain under written rules. The Rowley Mile Racecourse, indeed – one of two at Newmarket, the other being the July Course – is named after his favourite hack, Old Rowley.

Today, Newmarket is horseracing’s centre of the Universe, with 2,500 thoroughbreds in training, shared by 75 licensed trainers and spread out over 2,800 acres of training grounds. Oh, and there’s also enough space left over for 65 stud farms, including the National Stud, and Tattersalls, the biggest horse sales company in Europe.

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas, one of Britain’s five Classics, is hosted by Newmarket. The race was first run in 1809. The venue also stages the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Getting there

Newmarket Racecourses,
Westfield House,
The Links,
Newmarket,
Suffolk,
CB8 0TG

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@ChampionsSeries

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@ianmsyme Undoubtedly one of our favourite fillies but she didn't manage to record a Series victory this year!