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The QIPCO British Champions Fillies & 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).

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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Wonderful Tonight provides Menuisier with fairytale success

Wonderful Tonight provided trainer David Menuisier a first Group 1 success in Britain when coming home the comfortable winner in 2020.

It was also a first Ascot win of any description for the exultant trainer plus a first QIPCO British Champions Day win for jockey William Buick.

The three-year-old Le Havre filly, carrying the famous colours of Chris Wright, was always travelling well under Buick and hit the front three furlongs out. She was never in any serious danger thereafter, coming home two and a half lengths clear of Dame Malliot, who was partnered by Hollie Doyle.

Menuisier said: “I am speechless, absolutely speechless. I am so tired, I think I pushed harder than William riding the filly.

“I am absolutely thrilled. She is a champion. I feel so lucky and blessed. We bought her at the sales as a yearling for next to nothing and here she is winning her second Group 1 in two weeks.

“We know that she is very good. The only question mark was whether she had recuperated from the Arc weekend or not. I hadn’t, but I am glad she did.”

He added: “She is top-class all round. She is easy to train and as tough as anything that is tough. She is getting better and better, and there is still some improvement to come. She is still a tad keen early on so, once she really knows how to settle, I think she can go up a notch again. The sky is the limit.”

Buick added: “This filly, she is rock solid. David was very confident beforehand, she is just very straightforward. She is proven on the ground and she stays well, so she ticks a lot of boxes and to be honest with you I have been looking forward to riding this filly all week.

“She was out on her own all the way up the straight, it’s a long, daunting straight no matter what you’re riding [but she was fantastic].

“Her form is there for everyone to see. She won the Royallieu at Longchamp on Arc weekend, which is a mile and six, so we knew she stays, and the ground was very similar to today. She ticked all the boxes, but she has a lot of class and the will to win to go with it.”

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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