QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes report: Eshaada wins Group 1


Shadwell Estates saw notable success when Eshaada won the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

Too passionate in the Yorkshire Oaks last time around, Roger Varian’s charge was ahead of two stages under Jim Crowley. She was immediately challenged by Albaflora and Snowfall, but the latter, the favorite excluded, was quickly beaten.

The runner-up took on its task courageously, but the winner always held it back, hitting the line a short header to the right.

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“I had a very strong willed partner, she’s tried really hard and she loves this pitch,” Crowley said. “She was unlucky here at Royal Ascot when we were a bit far away, but she did the perfect lap today and she held on. Roger Varian is a class trainer, isn’t he? He planned this race for her, he knew she would like the cut in the ground.

Varian added: “His only bad performance was at York and Ribblesdale’s form had worked really well with the winner (Loving Dream) winning the Prix de Royallieu two weeks ago at ParisLongchamp. The ground was tight in York and it’s a funny place. Maybe she needs to cut the ground.

“Coming here today she had a track shape and always looked like a classy filly so I thought she was a bit overpriced before. We were very happy with his condition and everything went well during the race. She always had a good position and kicked in the straight line. She must have been really tough in the last two stages, but she held on and was really ready.

“I think there will be a discussion with Shadwell’s team (regarding the future). We would love to have it for another year, (but) that won’t be my decision. She is a large filly of stature who is still little attended and one would think that her best days are perhaps still ahead of her.

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O’Brien said of Snowfall: “She ran a decent race, you would obviously be disappointed if she didn’t win. She had a lot of runs, it was a pretty steady run and they sped up and she followed them, but she just didn’t hit them.

“Ryan (Moore) said he would have preferred the pace to be a bit stronger at the start. The snowfall was slow and didn’t want to go out and around them. There it is. We haven’t really said anything (about next year). We’ll see how she’s doing, but that’s probably all this year.

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