Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes 2019 Analysis
14:45 at Ascot on 19th October
The 2019 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes is a Group 1 Race run over 1 mile 3 furlongs and 133 yards and 3-year-olds have won four of the last five editions. Aidan O’Brien (two) and John Gosden have won the last three renewals between them and it’s easy to see why horses from those two stables dominate the market.
John Gosden looks set to saddle both his Epsom Oaks winner Annapurna and his Irish Oaks winner Star Catcher. But it looks significant that Frankie Dettori is aboard Star Catcher rather than Annapurna, as he rode the latter to success at Longchamp two-weeks ago. Annapurna beat Delphinia that day and, whilst she’s set to re-oppose, she’s one of four possible runners for Aidan O’Brien, who also saddles Pink Dogwood, South Sea Pearl, and Fleeting, with the latter also having been placed behind the two John Gosden fillies this season.
But all those fillies have run at least five times this season and, with seven of the last 10 winners arriving here fresher than that, it could be worth taking a chance on a filly that has yet to reach the ceiling of her ability.
That filly is Antonia De Vega, who won her first two starts as 2-year-old after which she was sent off at just 5/1 for the Fillies’ mile. She flopped in that race but, after 7 months off the track, she returned to show improved form to win over 10-furlongs on soft ground with a turn of foot that could be a potent weapon in the underfoot conditions. Her trainer Ralph Beckett also won the 2015 renewal of this race with Simple Verse, and the stable has been in electric form this week with six winners from 8 runners between 12-16 October.