QIPCO British Champions Day – Magical wins Fillies & Mares for O’Brien as Gosden records treble with Stradivarius, Roaring Lion & Cracksman

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Magical, a daughter of Galileo, gave Ryan Moore a second successive win in the Group 1 £600,000 QICPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday – he also took the race for O’Brien last year aboard Hydrangea.

Three-year-old, who finished 10th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe two weeks ago, beat the John Gosden-trained Coronet by a length at odds of 5/1. This was her first Group One victory.

Moore said: “We always thought Magical was top-class. She didn’t quite manage to win a Group 1 at two and then things have not gone to plan for her this year, but she ran a real good race in the Arc and Wayne [Lordan, who rode her at Longchamp] was very happy with her.”

Ireland’s multiple champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins is becoming a key figure in front-line Flat races for stayers.

Last week he won the £500,000 Cesarewitch at Newmarket with Low Sun, and for good measure saddled the runner-up, Uradel, and today he came close to landing the Group 2 £530,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup with Thomas Hobson.

Ridden by Oisín Murphy, Thomas Hobson (14/1) put down a big challenge to the John Gosden-trained winner Stradivarius (1/1f) in the final furlong, but did not quite have the speed to get through a gap on the rail and was beaten one and a half lengths into second. He finished a length ahead of third-placed Sir Erec (5/1) from the Aidan O’Brien stable.

The John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion capped a memorable season with his fourth Group 1 success in the £1,156,250 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, fending off the late challenge of 33/1 shot I Can Fly in the mile contest.

Ridden by Donnacha O’Brien for his father Aidan, I Can Fly ran on strongly in the closing stages but could not peg back the 2/1 favourite, ridden by Irish jockey Oisín Murphy, who held on to score by a neck.

O’Brien was suspended for seven days and fined £2,050 for using his whip above the permitted level.

Cracksman returned to his brilliant best with a stunning defeat of Crystal Ocean in the £1,300,000 QIPCO Champion Stakes, his six-length winning margin over the King George runner-up just a length short of the distance by which he beat Poet’s Word 12 months earlier.

He was the first horse since his sire Frankel to win at successive QIPCO British Champions Days and a third winner of the afternoon for John Gosden and second for Frankie Dettori. He now retires to stud the winner of eight of his 12 races, four of them at the top level, and more than £2.7m.

Today’s wins for Gosden ensured he could not be caught by Aidan O’Brien for the British Trainers’ title.


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