QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
|Group 1, Ascot 14:55
1m 4f, Class 1
|Saturday 18th October 2014|
1 Madame Chiang 12/1
2 Silk Sari 9/2
3 Chicquita 7/1
10 ran Distances: 2l, ¾l, nk
TIME 2m 38.76s (slow by 9.86s)
Madame Chiang wins the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot!
Chicquita drifted very badly late on to finish third
Madame Chiang rediscovered the winning form that saw her land the Musidora Stakes at York in May when taking the Group One under jockey Jim Crowley.
The winner is owned and was bred by Kirsten Rausing, who stands Madame Chiang's sire, Archipenko, at her Lanwades Stud near Newmarket.
Trainer David Simcock said: "When the ground became very soft we knew she would handle it, and following a very good run in last month's Group One Prix Vermeille - when she ran extremely well against a very strong field - we came here hopeful. You can never be confident, but we were hopeful.
"I am delighted with Jim - he never panicked on her and it's her style of racing. We knew that she handled heavy ground and she ran very well last time out in France, when I don' t think that she quite got the credit she deserved - she only finished a length and a half behind Treve.
"It's great for Kirsten. Madam Chiang is all about patience - this was the fifth run of her career and we have tried to look after her. We took our chance in the Oaks, which wasn't the best move but there is only one Oaks. When somebody puts so much time and effort into their life like Kirsten does it's very special.
"It was always the plan to keep her in training next year because she's a frame of a horse. She's a big girl and not the finished article by any means, so we're looking forward to next year when she will take on the boys. It will be exciting. We'll probably drop back to ten furlongs at some point and I would think we will start off in a race like the Middleton Stakes [at York] and then find routes from there.
"She handled the ground today, but she doesn't necessarily need it like this. She was pretty special to me after the Musidora and she looks pretty special after that win. She can only get better and there's a nice programme for her next year. I'm so pleased for Kirsten - it's her day.
"It's a wonderful day, and whatever the ground it who turns up that counts. It's a credit to the sponsors and to Ascot, and we're delighted to be here."
Ms Rausing said: "We always knew that she was very good. In her previous two races, the Oaks and the Vermeille, things haven't quite gone her way but, on the other hand, she finished within a length and a half of Treve in the Vermeille, so this might have been quite a pointer for today.
"We are delighted for the filly, for her connections at Trillium Place - David and Jenny Simcock and their team. I myself am rather selfishly pleased about the fact that I bred the filly, I bred her dam and I stand her sire Archipenko, whose first crop of three-year-olds is represented by Madame Chiang. She is his first Group One winner and his first Group One runner for that matter. He also has 13 two-year-old winners this year, two of whom won last night.
"Fifteen years ago my great filly Alborada won the Champion Stakes when it was run at Newmarket, having also won it the year before in 1998. She was the most recent dual Champion Stakes winner."
Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Fillies' Group 1)
£607,500 added, 3yo plus, 1m 4f, Class 1
Going: Heavy, Soft in places
|Pos||Dr||Dist||Horse SP Jockey||Age||Wgt||Trainer|
|1st||(2)||Madame Chiang 12/1
|3||8-12||D M Simcock|
|2nd||(5)||2||Silk Sari 9/2
|4||9-5||L M Cumani|
|3rd||(8)||¾||Chicquita (IRE) 7/1
J P O'Brien
|4||9-5||A P O'Brien|
|4th||(4)||nk||Pollyana (IRE) 16/1
|5||9-5||J E Hammond|
|5th||(7)||¾||Seal Of Approval 4/1F
|5||9-5||J R Fanshawe|
R L Moore
|5||9-5||R M Beckett|
|7th||(1)||1½||Albasharah (USA) 5/1
|5||9-5||Saeed bin Suroor|
|8th||(9)||1||We'll Go Walking (IRE) 40/1
|4||9-5||J P Murtagh|
|9th||(10)||47||Hadaatha (IRE) 7/1
|10th||(3)||14||Tasaday (USA) 12/1
|4||9-5||Saeed bin Suroor|
SILK WEAVES HER WAY THROUGH TO GRAB SECOND
The 9/2 shot looked well beaten as the field turned for home but jockey Andrea Atzeni managed to conjure up a late effort from his filly and she galloped past beaten horses to finish two lengths behind the winner Madame Chiang.
"She's run a blinder to be honest," said Atzeni.
"We just couldn't go the gallop in the first part of the race. Maybe she'll be better over further but she's a really nice filly. I think the ground was too soft for her as well as she's a lovely mover."
Trainer Luca Cumani was all smiles after the race and was delighted with the way the four-year-old finished the race. Her owner, Michael Watt, had generously promised before the race to donate any prize money won to the Injured Jockeys' Fund and Racing Welfare.
"I thought we were all set to run a shocking race halfway through but she's really picked up as they've hit the home straight," said the trainer.
"It's a shame but I don't think the course really suited her. If it had been a long straight like at Doncaster or York, I think we'd have finished nearer but all credit to the winner who has done it nicely."
Joseph O'Brien, jockey of the third-placed Chiquita, was in a reflective mood following the race, which saw his mount veer left towards the stands' side in the final two furlongs.
"She has a tendancy to do that and has done so in most of her races," said O'Brien.
"She's come to win the race but that's just her I'm afraid."