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The QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes

LD
Eshaada
  • Distance
  • Class
  • Group
  • Prize money

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).

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 before her stablemate, Magical followed up in 2018 making it back-to-back wins for Aidan O’Brien.

2019 saw the colours of Anthony Oppenheimer return to the winner’s enclosure for the third year running as Star Catcher ran out a ready winner in this race.

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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Eshaada pips Albaflora to shock the QIPCO Fillies & Mares field

Eshaada was a surprise 16/1 winner of the 12-furlong Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes for jockey Jim Crowley and trainer Roger Varian.

The Shadwell homebred ran well over the course and distance when runner-up in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June but had disappointed subsequently in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Eshaada was back on song today and showed a tremendous attitude in the closing stages, prevailing by a short-head after a ding-dong battle with runner-up Albaflora (3/1). Three-time Group 1 winner Snowfall was sent off the 8/11 market leader but could only manage third, beaten three and a half lengths.

Crowley and Varian were both notching a second career win on QIPCO British Champions Day.

Varian said: “The Ribblesdale form had worked out well with the winner of that [Loving Dream] landing a Group One in France.

“Eshaada loves cut in the ground and she’s got track form. She is a class filly and I thought she looked a touch overpriced coming into the race. She’s ran a great race and we’re delighted.

“Everything went right really; she broke and travelled well, always had a good position and she kicked in the straight but had to be very tough in the final two furlongs where she stuck her neck out and was really game.

“I think a discussion will be had with Shadwell. She is a great, big scopey filly and I think her best days are ahead of her. I would like to keep her in training.

“She doesn’t look by a sprinter; she is a great big leggy filly. Muhaarar’s are starting to get more than sprint distances.

“We’ve got a brilliant team at home who are doing a great job and we’ve got lots of loyal and great owners.”

Jim Crowley said: “I had a very willing partner; she tried very hard and loves that ground.

“She was unlucky here at Royal Ascot, I just got a bit far back on her, but we had the perfect trip round today and she toughed it out.

“Roger Varian is a class trainer isn’t he. He’s planned this race for her, I’m sure there were other options in France or what have you, but we knew she liked cut in the ground and this was always the plan.”

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#
  • Course Intro

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 £4m 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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