Billesdon Brook will face 11 rivals as she bids to land back-to-back runnings of the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Saturday.
The Richard Hannon-trained five-year-old is no stranger to glory at the Home of Horseracing, with her victory in this race last year coming after she had also won the QIPCO 1000 Guineas as a three-year-old.
Richard Hannon said: “Billesdon Brook loves it at Newmarket. She seems to run 10lbs better there than she does on any other track. We didn’t think she would win the 1000 Guineas, which she did, and we didn’t think she would win the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes last year, and she did. I see no reason why she shouldn’t run a massive race.
“She comes alive at Newmarket; the straight mile seems to suit her a lot more than a round mile. She is working super at home. She doesn’t need much work because she is quite a keen going sort, you really don’t have to do too much with her.”
Among her rivals this afternoon is a filly from her own yard, with Cloak Of Spirits, beaten only by Love in this year’s fillies’ Classic, seeking to build on her win in last week’s Listed Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes at the Rowley Mile.
Hannon added: “Cloak of Spirits deserved that win in the Rosemary Stakes last time out. She is tough and a really sweet filly. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid has said to give her one more run. She is in good form; she loves the track at Newmarket, and she is just coming good. She came good this time last year, so I am hopeful she can run a big race.”
Comparing his two hopefuls, Hannon said: “Billesdon Brook looks like she is 15 in comparison to some three-year-olds. She is massive, very strong and robust, whereas Cloak Of Spirits is quite slight and elegant.”
The Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes is part of the Mile category of the QIPCO British Champions Series, which will culminate in QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, 17th October.
Earlier this week two fillies, Champers Elysees and Half Light, were supplemented for Saturday’s race. Champers Elysees is trained in Ireland by Johnny Murtagh, who never won the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes during his career in the saddle. The four-year-old Half Light, meanwhile, is trained for Godolphin in France by Henri Pantall.
The overseas contingent also features Peaceful from the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien stable.
Representing the home defence alongside Richard Hannon’s pair are the John Gosden pair of Nazeef and Terebellum, Feliciana De Vega from the in-form Ralph Beckett yard, last year’s runner up Veracious, Saeed bin Suroor’s Final Song, Amanda Perrett’s Lavender’s Blue and finally, the locally trained Lady Bowthorpe from William Jarvis’ yard in Newmarket.
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