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Simple Verse team yet to settle on target

18 Sep 2016

Last year's St Leger still has choice of races on QIPCO British Champions Day

Simple Verse after her victory on Champions Day last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Simple Verse remains on course for QIPCO British Champions Day – but her connections have yet to discuss which race she will contest at Ascot on October 15.

The Ralph Beckett-trained four-year-old won last year’s St Leger and followed up in the Group One Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day.

After falling short in three races over a mile and a half this term, Simple Verse got her head back in front with a last-gasp victory in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster this month.

Ralph Beckett, her trainer, instantly identified the Group Two Long Distance Cup as her next assignment – the opening race on Champions Day – but she may yet defend her Fillies & Mares crown.

David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, said on Sunday: “Ralph’s plan immediately after the Park Hill was to go for the stayers’ race. Whether she goes for that depends if she stays in training next season.

“That is a discussion myself, Ralph and Sheikh Fahad have yet to have. At this moment in time she will go for one or the other.

“Ralph feels strongly about the stayers’ race but it is only a Group Two and she is Classic winner. If we decide to go down the staying route next season there is a chance she will go for the longer race.”

Simple Verse is generally 5-1 for the Long Distance Cup, but twice that price for the Fillies & Mares.

Mountain Bell, also owned by Qatar Racing, will head to the Fillies & Mares Stakes following her victory in the Listed Betway Stand Cup at Chester recently.

“She will go for the Fillies and Mares. It was very much Ralph’s plan to go for that race at Chester and it worked out well,” said Redvers. “She will be a cracking prospect next year.”