- Sire-Dam -
There has never been a bigger surprise in a QIPCO Champions Series race than the victory of Billesdon Brook in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas in 2018.
Sent off at 66-1 – none of her 14 rivals were at larger odds – she became the biggest-priced winner of the fillies’ Classic. And her Betfair SP was 161-1.
Despite being ignored by punters, she won the fillies’ Classic with authority under Sean Levey. She travelled sweetly and quickened up smartly to beat Laurens by a length and three quarters with two more Group 1 winners, Happily and Wild Illusion, the next pair home.
It left form students scratching their heads because she had finished fifth behind Laurens in the May Hill Stakes on her final start at two, plus been beaten five-and-a-quarter lengths in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on her return.
“That was a surprise,” winning trainer Richard Hannon admitted. “But there was nothing flukey about it, she travelled lovely. All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run, we got Sky Lantern beaten in her trial and Night Of Thunder beaten in his, and they both won here.
“Today she looked great, she’s done no work really between the Nell Gwyn and here but she’s obviously a really good filly and it’s so nice for this big syndicate who’ve been in the game a long time and have worked hard for a day like this. They will enjoy it that’s for sure.”
There have been plenty of other days for her connections to enjoy since that giddy afternoon.
In 2019, she landed a Listed prize at Chelmsford; the Group 3 Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood; and then the Sun Chariot at the expense of four other Group 1 winners.
And in 2020 she continued to perform with great credit and finished runner-up on four occasions – including when beaten a neck by Trebellum in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
By the end of the year, she had won seven of her 26 starts and won £755,000 in prize-money. And her rating of 113 was just 2lb lower than after the Guineas.
As a juvenile she won twice at Goodwood, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in a handicap (off a mark of 87) before landing the Group 3 Prestige Stakes.