QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
|Group 1, Ascot 14:45
1m 3f 211y, Class 1
|Saturday 19th October 2019
1 Star Catcher 7/4F
2 Delphinia 20/1
3 Sun Maiden 25/1
12 ran Distances: shd, 1l, nk
Time: 2m 28.48s (slow by 4.48s)
Star Catcher justified her place as 7/4 favourite for the £550,000 G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes with a gritty victory.
Thirty-five minutes later they were the narrow winners as Star Catcher beat Delphinia and Sun Maiden by a short head and one length. Gosden's other runner, Oaks winner Anapurna
, finished 11th of the 12 runners after holding a good early position.
Sun Catcher's owner/breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, who also raced and bred Derby winner Golden Horn
, said his filly would remain in training next year, and added: "We're all thrilled. We were very worried about the ground before the race and didn't think she would go in it, but she has a lot of courage and really pulled on that. It was fantastic effort by her, the trainer and the jockey."
Gosden said: "It was extraordinary to see three fillies fighting it out together, but she was determined to get her head in front and you cannot doubt her courage. She's a wonderful filly and now she can have a winter off.
"She won the Prix Vermeille on fast ground, she won in Ireland on quick ground and now she's won on heavy. The inner track is better than the outer track, but we've had a lot of rain. It's a gorgeous day and these wonderful horses are running, and so far we've had three incredible races.
"You have to remain calm and collected for the horses - you're no damn good if you're jumping around and being neurotic, and when you start saddling them they feel your nerves. That's no good to them. You need to be calm.
He added of Anapurna: "She found it too testing. She lost a shoe and was skidding all the way."
Dettori said: "Star Catcher has never stopped improving but once Delphinia couldn't get away from her she found her second wind and managed to get her head in front in the last 100 yards. It was hard work in the straight but the last shower made a big difference as it's borderline heavy, and she doesn't mind it.
"I am still a bit sour about Stradivarius, but the ground is a lot worse than we thought. I am pleased this filly won. Like you said, from crying to smiling in half an hour! She's lovely, she's tough, and I think she is going to stay in training. She is a wonderful filly and provided me with my 250th G1. I love her."
Star Catcher was Dettori's 17th Group 1 winner in a stellar year.
Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Fillies' Group 1)
POS (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
£600,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 3f 211y, Class 1
1 (11) Star Catcher 3 8-13 John Gosden Frankie Dettori 7/4F
2 (2) shd Delphinia 3 8-13 A P O'Brien Seamie Heffernan 20/1
3 (12) 1 Sun Maiden 4 9-5 Sir Michael Stoute Jim Crowley 25/1
4 (5) nk Fleeting 3 8-13 A P O'Brien Donnacha O'Brien 9/2
5 (7) 2½ Klassique 4 9-5 William Haggas James Doyle 28/1
6 (10) shd Antonia De Vega 3 8-13 Ralph Beckett Harry Bentley 8/1
7 (3) 2¼ South Sea Pearl 3 8-13 A P O'Brien Sean Levey 66/1
8 (9) ¾ Pink Dogwood 3 8-13 A P O'Brien Pierre-Charles Boudot 16/1
9 (8) 1¼ Tarnawa 34 D 3 8-13 D K Weld
Chris Hayes 10/1
10 (4) shd Nausha 3 8-13 Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 80/1
11 (1) 2¼ Anapurna 3 8-13 John Gosden William Buick 6/1
12 (6) 9 Sparkle Roll 3 8-13 John Gosden Oisin Murphy 14/1