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Gosden and O’Brien on course for a familiar battle in Fillies & Mares

14 Oct 2019

Racing's powerhouse yards have strong entries for the QIPCO Fillies & Mares Stakes

John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have dominated the past three renewals of the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes and the pair again look to hold the aces.

Gosden has three contenders to shuffle in Anapurna, Sparkle Roll and Star Catcher. The bookmakers make Star Catcher the ante-post favourite and in her past three races she has reeled off successive wins in the Ribblesdale Stakes, Kerrygold Irish Oaks and Qatar Prix Vermeille.

Anapurna, a daughter of Frankel, won the Investec Oaks in June and secured another Group 1 prize when winning the Qatar Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp this month.

Aidan O’Brien has won the past two runnings, via Hydrangea and Magical, and the latter is among six potential runners this time. The master of Ballydoyle also has Delphinia, Fleeting, Hermosa, Pink Dogwood and South Sea Pearl engaged.

Other interesting contenders include Antonia De Vega, easy winner of her only race at Newbury this season, and the progressive Tarnawa, who landed the Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on her latest start.


Ralph Beckett on Antonia De Vega

“She did a racecourse gallop last week and, that went to plan, so the idea is to run. She’s been training well and hopefully it stays soft because the formbook says that suits her.

“She’s very under-raced and I’m hopeful there is a bit more to come. She goes there nice and fresh.

The trainer had five winners on Saturday at more than 21,000-1 and on the form of his horses, he added: “We had a tricky spring, it wasn’t going well and then we hit a bit of a blip in July when they weren’t running well. Saturday gave us all a thrill and it’s always a good idea to finish off your season well.”

William Haggas on Klassique

“Klassique ran well in France last time but was a bit flat. She loves the soft and so we deliberately put her away.

“She’s an outsider and got quite a bit to find on form. I don’t know whether she’s good enough, but what I do know is that she will love the ground, stay the trip and try very hard. If she can finish in the first four then we will be delighted.”

Full Entries

Klassique (GB) Magical (IRE) Pilaster (GB) Red Tea (GB) Sun Maiden (GB) Anapurna (GB) Antonia de Vega (IRE) Delphinia (IRE) Fleeting (IRE) Hermosa (IRE) Nausha (GB) Pink Dogwood (IRE) South Sea Pearl (IRE) Sparkle Roll (FR) Star Catcher (GB) Tarnawa (IRE)