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Spotlight on the 2015 Champions Series Fillies & Mares

29 Apr 2015

Timeform's Jamie Lynch analyses the fillies and mares to look out for in the 2015 QIPCO British Champions Series.

Found demonstrates her class in Longchamp to win the Prix Marcel Boussac. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

What separates this category from the rest is its capacity to surprise, for something to come from virtually out of the blue and hit unheralded heights. Take last year, for example, when Sultanina started the season an unraced four-year-old and ended up winning the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

That said, there is an obvious glamour girl for this year, and she goes by the name of Found. It’s a regular source of champions, the Ballydoyle academy, and the imposing Found put down very positive foundations as a two-year-old, culminating with an emphatic win in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day.

Her profile and performances put Found in pole position for the fillies’ classics, favourite for both the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks. Everything looks to be aligned for Found to become a star of not just this division, but the whole series.

It may be necessary to look to the mademoiselles of France for worthy adverseries when the time comes for a generational clash. Dolniya improved right through 2014, all the way to fifth place in the Arc, and has raised her game again this year, strikingly impressive in beating the males in the Sheema Classic in Dubai.

An hour after Found had thrown down the girls’ gauntlet at Longchamp, the year-older We Are picked it up by winning the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera, overpowering the James Fanshawe-trained Ribbons, who’ll be flying the British flag in the series again this year.          

Joining Ribbons, in due course, in the British Spice Girls will be Cursory Glance, who looked a match for Found – and inflicted her only defeat – last year, but won’t be seen back until the summer because of injury.

Others will emerge as the series goes on, liable to be trained by John Gosden, as Sultanina was, if history is any guide (keep an eye out for Jellicle Ball, a likely candidate and one of Timeform’s Fifty To Follow), but if any division is going to be dominated by one horse in 2015, then it’s Found in the Fillies And Mares.