British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 2.40 at Ascot, 21 October 2017
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
- Bateel to win at 5/2 with Coral
- The Juliet Rose each way at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
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.
British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Tips
John Gosden sends out the five year old Journey in a bid to defend the crown she won in such exhilarating fashion twelve months ago, and she does seem to be coming to hand at just the right time for what has traditionally been her time of year. With three of her five career victories having come in the months of September and October, she is likely to be primed to put her best foot forward here. The going however now looks far from ideal. A record of 222 on good to soft or softer is solid enough, but the suspicion is it may blunt her most potent weapon, namely her excellent turn of foot.
Journey looked almost certain to go off favourite this year, but the past 24 hours may well have shifted conditions decisively in favour of Francis-Henri Graffards Bateel. With 7mm of rain turning the ground soft all over, there appears nothing in the field as well placed to take advantage as this former David Simcock inmate. A Listed winner when based in England, this daughter of Dubawi has scaled new heights since making the move to France. Four starts have yielded three victories, most impressively of all when leaving Journey trailing in her wake last time out in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Chantilly. That soft ground victory took her overall record to an impeccable five from five on such a surface, and she may well prove mightily tough to beat here.
Another who seems likely to be suited by underfoot conditions is fellow French raider, The Juliet Rose. Three from five on soft or worse, including at Group 2 level, she has come up short in her two previous efforts in Group 1 company, but can be excused the first of those due to being heavily interfered with, and wasn’t beaten far behind Left Hand in a good ground Prix Vermeille last term. Left Hand also goes for our Gallic cousins here, but being 0 from 4 on soft, she may have work to do.
If Aidan O’Brien is to take another step closer to the Group 1 world record here – or perhaps even break it, depending upon earlier results – it would be Hydrangea of his two entries who would appear to boast the strongest claims. There looks to be enough doubt to leave her out of the staking plan here though. This 2f step up in trip may well prove to be a positive, but she is 0 from 2 on soft, and any stamina weakness will be ruthlessly exposed under these conditions.
Overall, we see this being a good race for the French. Arriving in the form of her life and under ideal conditions, Bateel is fancied to land the spoils here. The Juliet Rose also looks to be a tasty each way price, with conditions turning firmly in her favour.
British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes Previous Winners
- 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
British Champions 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).