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The second Group 1 race on the card at Ascot on Champions Day is the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, which will be run over an extended trip of one mile and three furlongs.
Won last year by John Gosden’s Emily Upjohn, this race is not easy to win, unless you happen to be John Gosden or Aidan O’Brien, who between them, have won five of the last seven renewals. They have five of the 14 runners here too.
Field for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
- 1 Field for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
- 1.1 Above The Curve (trained by Joseph O’Brien, ridden by Dylan Browne McMonagle)
- 1.2 Free Wind (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Frankie Dettori)
- 1.3 One For Bobby (trained by Hughie Morrison, ridden by Rob Hornby)
- 1.4 Poptronic (trained by Karl Burke, ridden by Sam James)
- 1.5 Stay Alert (trained by Hughie Morrison, ridden by David Egan)
- 1.6 Term Of Endearment (trained by Henry de Bromhead, ridden by Tom Marquand)
- 1.7 Time Lock (trained by Roger Charlton, ridden by William Buick)
- 1.8 Bluestocking (trained Ralph Beckett, trained by Rossa Ryan)
- 1.9 Jackie Oh (trained by Aidan O’Brien, ridden by Ryan Moore)
- 1.10 Red Riding Hood (trained by Aidan O’Brien, ridden by James Doyle)
- 1.11 Rue Boissonade (trained by Mikel Delzangles, ridden by Gérald Mossé)
- 1.12 Running Lion (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Oisin Murphy)
- 1.13 Sea Of Roses (trained by Andrew Balding, ridden by P J McDonald)
- 1.14 Sweet Memories (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Hollie Doyle)
- 2 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes betting odds
- 3 Our betting tips and predictions for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
The 2023 renewal of this middle-distance contest is set to contain 14 runners, which are as follows:
Above The Curve (trained by Joseph O’Brien, ridden by Dylan Browne McMonagle)
Landed a Group 1 at the Curragh over one mile and two furlongs back in 2022. Ran very well for third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera Longines at Longchamp last season too, while he finished a good second behind Al Husn at Glorious Goodwood earlier this season. Not as good last time out, but still wasn’t beaten too far. Not without a chance if the re-fitting of cheekpieces has a positive effect.
Free Wind (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Frankie Dettori)
Top-quality mare, who is a force to be reckoned with in Group 2 and Group 3 affairs. Unfortunately, stepping up to Group 1 level has proved to be less effective, though she was beaten just a head at York in August. Easily beaten in the prestigious Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last time out and now needs to improve, but not to be discounted for Dettori and Gosden.
One For Bobby (trained by Hughie Morrison, ridden by Rob Hornby)
Frequent winner this season, most recently scoring over ten furlongs in France, beating a decent Group 3 field. Less effective at this level when last seen and now returns from a 62-day mini lay-off. Unlikely to get seriously involved.
Poptronic (trained by Karl Burke, ridden by Sam James)
Finished behind Free Wind on seasonal debut, before improving to land a Group 2 at Haydock in July. Has unfortunately failed to get seriously involved in two goes at Group 1 level since, so she looks held in a race of this nature.
Stay Alert (trained by Hughie Morrison, ridden by David Egan)
Group 3 winner at Newbury in September of last year, but is without a win since. Ran well for second in a Group 1 at the Curragh in July, though that was on good ground and she’s twice disappointed at this level since. Hard to see the mount of David Egan laying down a genuine challenge here.
Term Of Endearment (trained by Henry de Bromhead, ridden by Tom Marquand)
Unexposed type, who improved to win a Group 3 at Cork last time out, running on very strongly indeed. Looked to be a good bit better than that level on that occasion and may now have more to give having been kept for this contest. Marquand is a noteworthy booking in the saddle.
Time Lock (trained by Roger Charlton, ridden by William Buick)
Frankel filly who took a while to get going, but won a Listed contest in good style at Craon in France back in early September, while he improved again when bolting up in a Group 3 at Newmarket three weeks ago. Remains lightly raced and may still have more to give.
Bluestocking (trained Ralph Beckett, trained by Rossa Ryan)
Filly out of Camelot, who is very lightly raced having had just five starts. Yet to win, but arrives here off the back of a promising second to Al Qareem in a Listed contest last time out. Could improve, but would need to do so to leave her mark here.
Jackie Oh (trained by Aidan O’Brien, ridden by Ryan Moore)
Galileo filly, who won on debut at Naas, before twice being a beaten favourite at Navan and Ascot. Won a Group 3 at Gowran Park in July, enjoying the soft ground in the process, before twice finishing second, first in a Group 2 at the Curragh, and last time in a very good Group 1 at Longchamp. That form should be taken seriously and a repeat would likely see her go close.
Red Riding Hood (trained by Aidan O’Brien, ridden by James Doyle)
Looked a decent sort when winning a Group 3 at the Curragh back in August, but struggled to get seriously involved in a Group 2 last time out and on all available form, is likely no better than a pacemaker for Jackie Oh here.
Rue Boissonade (trained by Mikel Delzangles, ridden by Gérald Mossé)
French raider. Will enjoy plenty of cut in the ground and remains lightly raced having run just six times. Won a Longchamp Group 2 in fine style back in July of last year, while she wasn’t too far behind Warm Heart in a Group 1 in September. Potential each-way player.
Running Lion (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Oisin Murphy)
Goes for a trainer who knows how to ready one for this race and comes here off the back of two decent placed efforts. Struggled when tackling Group 1 company before, though, and likely needs a career-best to make her presence felt.
Sea Of Roses (trained by Andrew Balding, ridden by P J McDonald)
Andrew Balding’s filly ran a solid race when fifth behind Warm Heart in the Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal meeting over course and distance, which is decent form, but she’s failed to back that up in two Listed races since and may not be the biggest soft ground lover.
Sweet Memories (trained by John Gosden, ridden by Hollie Doyle)
Unexposed and lightly raced having run just four times for John Gosden. Came home behind Time Lock last time out and may have more to give, but appears to need a sizable step in the right direction to challenge the key players here.
Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes betting odds
Here’s how the early betting stands ahead of this fine fillies and mares contest:
Jackie Oh – 7/2 (4.50)
Free Wind – 4/1 (5.00)
Time Lock – 5/1 (6.00)
Bluestocking – 8/1 (9.00)
Above The Curve – 9/1 (10.00)
Sweet Memories – 12/1 (13.00)
Rue Boissonade – 12/1 (13.00)
Term Of Endearment – 14/1 (15.00)
All other runners 20/1 or greater.
Our betting tips and predictions for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
Jackie Oh is a big player here, make no mistake about that, but she doesn’t look the most straightforward and has already let favourite backers down on a handful of occasions this season. Perhaps she’s worth opposing here.
Our best prediction: Time Lock @ 5/1 (6.00)
It took Time Lock a little while to come to the boil last season, but each of his last two effort have been impressive, and he really did create a very positive impression when scooting clear at Newmarket last time out. He seemed to appreciate softer ground when winning in France too, so it would be little surprise if the mount of William Buick gave John Gosden success in this race for the second year running.
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