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Champers Elysees among dozen in Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes

Thu 1 Oct 2020

Champers Elysees will face 11 rivals as she bids for a second Group One win in Saturday’s Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

The three-year-old completed her meteoric rise through the ranks when landing the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last month – graduating from a Curragh handicap at the start of the season to top-level success, via Listed and Group Three wins.

Champers Elysees, who is trained by Johnny Murtagh, was subsequently purchased by Teruya Yoshida and will sport his colours for the first time at Headquarters. Like at the Curragh, the daughter of Elzaam will be ridden by Colin Keane.

Hannon gives his verdict on his two runners

Aidan O’Brien’s Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful was second to Champers Elysees at Leopardstown and will try to reverse that form under Ryan Moore.

The home defence is headed by the John Gosden-trained duo of Nazeef and Terebellum, with the pair renewing old rivalries having finished first and third respectively in the Falmouth Stakes back in July.

Richard Hannon is also double-handed in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest with last year’s winner Billesdon Brook and Cloak Of Spirits, who struck at Listed level at Newmarket last week.

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."

Of Cloak Of Spirits, he added: "She 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.”

Learn more about the Sun Chariot Stakes

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."

As well as Terebellum, Godolphin are also represented by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Final Song and Henri-Alex Pantall’s Half Light, who was supplemented for the race on Monday.

Last year’s runner-up Veracious tries her luck again for Sir Michael Stoute, while Ralph Beckett’s Feliciana De Vega makes her seasonal bow having won the Darley Stakes on her final start of 2019.

The William Jarvis-trained Lady Bowthorpe and Amanda Perrett’s Lavender’s Blue – the mount of Hollie Doyle – complete the line up.

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