QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
Group 1, Ascot 14:40
£600,000 added,
3yo plus,
1m 3f 211y, Class 1   
Saturday 21st October 2017

Last year's winner Journey confirmed - Alyssa has been supplemented

Journey heads the field of 15 for the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, for which Alyssa, trained by Ralph Beckett, has been supplemented.

© Racehorse Photos

The John Gosden-trained five-year-old was a four-length winner last year, having been edged out by Simple Verse 12 months earlier and is set for a third spin in the Group One mile and a half feature. However, since its inception in 2011, no horse has won back-to-back renewals of any race on Champions Day.

Obvious stumbling blocks are Coronet, her stablemate, who won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and French challenger Bateel, who beat Journey in the Qatar Prix Vermeille last time and has now won seven of her 12 races.

The other entries include five more Group One winners - Left HandSeventh HeavenSmart CallHydrangea and Rhododendron.

© Racehorse Photos

Andrew Balding, trainer of Horseplay, fourth in the Investec Oaks and absent since filling the same position in the Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud on July 2 said: "She’s a high-class filly who probably wasn’t seen to best effect in France on her last start, when she came back with a problem. It’s taken a bit of time to get her right."

Gosden said of his pair: "Journey’s in great form – she ran a blinder in France when she ran into a filly [Bateel] who loved that [softish] ground more than she did. It will be her swansong, she goes to stud after this.

"Coronet ran an exceptionally good race in the Yorkshire Oaks to Enable and just found the pace and distance too far in the St Leger but she’s a very good filly and she’s getting better all the time. She seems to be racing more alertly now than she used to so, fingers crossed, they will both run good races.

"Fillies in the autumn, if they are in the zone and well that’s great. Sometimes it’s a little late in the year but they are both giving us the right signals.

"I haven’t got as far as riding arrangements. I’ll talk to Mr Dettori, who likes to tell us what to do. If he gets it wrong then it’s his fault, not mine."

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Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Fillies' Group 1)
£600,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 3f 211y, Class 1
15 remaining entries
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

Form Horse Age Wgt Trainer
101-031 Alyssa 37 4 0-0 R M Beckett
50-2111 Bateel (IRE) 41 5 9-5 F H Graffard
351425 Coronet 35 3 8-13 J H M Gosden
21-2311 Eziyra (IRE) 42 3 8-13 D K Weld
41-1440 Horseplay 11 3 8-13 A M Balding
033412 Hydrangea (IRE) 20 3 8-13 A P O'Brien
111-502 Journey 41 5 9-5 J H M Gosden
645335 Left Hand 20 4 9-5 C Laffon-Parias
2/1312- Mountain Bell 364 4 9-5 R M Beckett
1-22P71 Rhododendron (IRE) 20 3 8-13 A P O'Brien
54-2190 Seventh Heaven (IRE) 20 4 9-5 A P O'Brien
1-34746 Smart Call (SAF) 41 6 9-5 Sir Michael Stoute
1-12187 The Black Princess (FR) 20 4 9-5 J H M Gosden
0231-41 The Juliet Rose (FR) 21 4 9-5 N Clement
115353 Wild Irish Rose (IRE) 27 3 8-13 A P O'Brien

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