British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 2.40 at Ascot, 20 October 2018
Race three on British Champions Day at Ascot sees the culmination of the fillies and mares’ division of the British Champions Series. This contest has produced some real crackers over the years and here we highlight the best odds and offers available, as well as providing our betting tips for this year’s renewal.
This Group 1 contest for fillies and mares aged three and older was first run at Ascot in 1946 over the Oaks distance of 1m4f. Rising in both prestige and value over the years, the race now offers £600,000 in total prize money.
British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Betting Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
- Lah Ti Dar to win at 11/8 with bet365
- Hydrangea each way at 9/1 with Coral
British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Betting Offers
Free bets, enhanced odds and other offers for this race will be listed in due course. Also check out our Champions Day Betting Offers and Free Bets page. Note we have all of our racing free bets on the homepage too.
Fillies & Mares Stakes Tips and Preview
Playing a key role on British Champions Day, the Fillies and Mares Stakes is the third race of what is one of the most highly anticipated cards of the entire Flat racing season. It takes the role of the final of the fillies and mares division of the British Champions Series and a suitably strong field will contend the 2018 renewal on Saturday. There’s a mixture of fillies with promise still to fulfil and mares who have something to prove after poor results, so this should be as competitive a race as the betting suggests.
Lah Ti Dar to End a Frustrating Season on a High
Every owner in racing wants that feeling of discovering one of their horses is potentially something special. The spark of hope that you may have a winner of big races on your hands is, however, always tempered by the pressure for the horse to live up to the billing.
As a man who made his money in the theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber knows a thing or two about the pressure to perform and remaining clam when things don’t go to plan. However, even he must have grown frustrated with the way things had unfolded for Lah Ti Dar, the horse he owns with his wife.
Lah Ti Dar didn’t make a single appearance as a two-year-old but racing fans were still suitably excited about her prospects on debut in April to back her into joint favouritism. She lived up to the billing by winning that maiden and then winning at Listed level.
That win saw her hit the top of the market for the Oaks at Epsom but illness kept her out of the Classic and of Royal Ascot. The frustration that caused dissipated when Lah Ti Dar returned from a 109-day break with an incredible 10 length win at Listed level and she was far from disgraced by finishing second to Key Gardens in the St Leger.
Lah Ti Dar showed plenty of heart at Doncaster and was just beaten by a horse who could finish stronger. The drop back to the 1 mile, 4 furlong trip of the Fillies and Mares Stakes should be enough for her to pick up a first Group level win at solid odds of 11/8 with bet365.
Will the Soft Ground Finally Bring the Best Out of Hydrangea?
Aidan O’Brien is another who has had a frustrating time of it in 2018. The trainer has had to deal with illness problems in his Ballydoyle yard which hampered the chances of his incredibly strong string of horses. Hydrangea, winner of last year’s Fillies and Mares Stakes, is one of those who has suffered.
After finishing second in her seasonal reappearance, Hydrangea was so poor in two starts at Ascot that her future in racing was brought into question. Connections are still hopeful that those performances can be put down to the effects of the bug in the yard. If that’s true, Hydrangea could be too big to ignore at 9/1 with Coral, especially as she has winning form on soft ground.
- 2017 – Hydrangea – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2016 – Journey – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2015 – Simple Verse – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer Ralph Beckett
- 2014 – Madame Chiang – jockey Jim Crowley, trainer David Simcock
- 2013 – Seal Of Approval – jockey George Baker, trainer James Fanshawe
- 2012 – Sapphire – jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Dermot Weld
- 2011 – Dancing Rain – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer William Haggas
- 2010 – Crystal Capella – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
- 2009 – Ashalanda – jockey Christophe Lemaire, trainer Alain de Royer-Dupré
- 2008 – Crystal Capella – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Sir Michael Stoute
- 2007 – Trick Or Treat – jockey Tom Queally, trainer James Given
- 2006 – Acts Of Grace – jockey Kerrin McEvoy, trainer John Dunlop
Fillies and Mares Stakes History
First run in 1946, this contest was initially titled the Princess Royal Stakes in honour of Princess Mary. Run as a Group 3 event for much of its life, the conditions of the race have remained largely unchanged over the years, although the venue has varied at times.
After switching between Ascot and Newmarket in the early 2000’s, the race remained at Newmarket between 2008 and 2010 as part of the tracks Champions Meeting, during which time it went under the name of the Pride Stakes. The inaugural British Champions day saw the event brought back to Ascot and given its current title. Group 1 status soon followed with the classification being granted for the first time in 2013.
Oaks winners Snow Bride (1989) and Dancing Rain (2011) are amongst the classiest winners in the races history. The best of the bunch though is the Ed Dunlop trained Ouija Board. In addition to taking this in 2005, the superstar daughter of Cape Cross also won the English and Irish Oaks, Prince Of Wales Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Hong Kong Vase and the Breeders Cup Fillies and Mares Turf twice. As if those exploits at the track weren’t enough, she has also proved a success as a broodmare, giving us the brilliant 2014 derby winner, Australia.
No prizes for guessing the name of the winning-most jockey in the race. It’s that man Lester Piggott once again. The “Long Fellow’s” record of eight wins between the years of 1959 and 1984 continues to set the benchmark.
John Dunlop went one better than Piggott with his nine wins putting him at the top of the trainers list. Dunlop certainly receives bonus points for longevity, with his first win coming in 1966, and his ninth forty years later in 2006.
Whilst open to runners aged three and older, it is the three year olds who have proven dominant in this contest. In the 35 editions run between 1979 and 2016 the prize went to a three year old on 27 occasions.
Winning this more than once seems to be a pretty tall order. Only two fillies have managed the feat, namely Shebeen (1974 and 1975) and Crystal Capella (2008 and 2010).