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Billesdon Brook stuns QIPCO 1000 Guineas rivals at 66-1

6 May 2018

The Richard Hannon-trained filly became the biggest-priced winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday.

Levey drives Billesdon Brook to victory in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. Picture:

Billesdon Brook became the biggest winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas when powering to a one-and-three-quarter length victory.

The 66-1 chance provided Sean Levey, 30, with his first British Classic success and the Hannons with a second victory in the race after Sky Lantern won in 2013.

Billesdon Brook had been beaten more than five lengths in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes but the improving daughter of Champs Elysees produced a fine turn of foot to quicken past the staying-on Laurens. Happily, the favourite, kept on for third with Wild Illusion fourth.

“That was a surprise but there was nothing flukey about it, she travelled lovely,” Hannon said.
“All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run, we got Sky Lantern beaten in her trial and Night Of Thunder beaten in his, and they both won here.

“Today she looked great, she’s done no work really between the Nell Gwyn and here but she’s obviously a really good filly and it’s so nice for this big syndicate who’ve been in the game a long time and have worked hard for a day like this. They will enjoy it that’s for sure.”

Levey, a former apprentice with Aidan O’Brien, said: “It’s every man’s dream, I know we ride lots of good winners with the help of Richard Hannon, but you are always looking for that good horse.

“You always want to compete in the big races but to win one is amazing. There is never a hiding place in a Guineas and she has won it decisively so she has to be good.”

Karl Burke has the Prix Diane (French Oaks) in mind for Laurens (7-1), who went down fighting in the fillies’ mile Classic.

“Take nothing away from our filly,” he said. “She is a very high-class filly. She has gone a fantastic gallop and I’m pretty sure we will go straight to the Prix de Diane now. The extra two-and-a-half furlongs will be ideal. She is so honest and I’m delighted.

“The trip is the key. I think she is crying out for further, although she is not slow. If she’d have won today, we might have gone to the Irish Guineas. We’ll sleep on it. She is in it, but she is also in the Coronation. However, I think everybody, when we sit down and discuss it, will be in favour of stepping up in trip.”

The 11-4 favourite Happily was a staying-on third, half a length further back under Ryan Moore. Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “She will probably go to the Irish Guineas now. Ryan was very happy with her. Her best part of the race was the final half furlong, as she was coming back and finishing well.”

Wild Illusion was back in fourth for Charlie Appleby. Her jockey, James Doyle, said: “I’m pretty pleased with her. She coped with the ground pretty well and she is crying out for a bit more distance.”