The 2016 renewal of the G1 Falmouth Stakes will be held on Friday. Amazing Maria won for David O’Meara, last season, but which fillies are in contention this time around?
A first Falmouth win for Andre Fabre looks very-much on the cards, as this Sharmardal 4-year-old has been in terrific nick. Well-beaten in the G1 Prix Rothschild, last August, she’s since won at Deauville before taking both the G2 Dahlia Stakes and the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes on British soil. If you want to back the Godolphin runner, don’t expect to get a huge price!
There’s no doubting that this Galileo filly has bags of ability, but she’s been frustrating for punters that have stuck with her. Since winning the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies trophy, she’s finished 2nd in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, 3rd in the G1 1,000 Guineas and 3rd in the G1 Coronation Stakes. Aidan O’Brien’s charge still looks the best value in the contest though, given the sheer quality of the few horses to have finished recent races ahead of her.
After her 2015 victory, she was sent to Deauville and won the Prix Rothschild. However, since then, the Mastercraftsman filly has disappointed. 7th of 9 in the G1 Matron Stakes (Ireland), she finished 5.5 lengths behind Usherette in the Dahlia and never looked a genuine threat when 6th in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. There is a suspicion that last year’s Falmouth was not an especially strong renewal and Amazing Maria looks well-held by both Usherette and Alice Springs.
Each-way backers can choose between Always Smile, Very Special, Irish Rookie and Ashadihan, but with just 2 places paid in this 7-runner encounter, few are likely to be tempted.Bet Falmouth Stakes Now
History Of The Falmouth Stakes
The Falmouth Stakes is for fillies and mares aged three years and above. It is a straight one mile turf affair, with a purse of two hundred thousand euros. Three year-old runners carry eight stones and twelve pounds, while horses that are older than three carry nine stones and seven pounds.
The event was introduced in 1911 and named after the sixth Viscount Falmouth, Evelyn Boscawen. In the early days, only fillies were able to take part. Group 3 status was given to the race in 1971 and it was opened up to older fillies in 1974. Group 2 status was awarded in 1987 and it was finally made a Group 1 fixture in 2004.
Only two horses have won the Falmouth Stakes twice. The first horse to achieve this was Sonic Lady in 1986 and 1987. Soviet Song won her double in 2004 and 2005. Lester Piggott is the most successful jockey, with an incredible haul of seven victories. His first came with Sylphide in 1957 and his last with Lemon Souffle in 1994.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned Integral won in 2014, with top-jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle. The previous renewal was won by a filly that was ridden by William Buick. Elusive Kate is trained by John Gosden, out of a dam called Gout de Terroir and sire by Elusive Quality.
Elusive Quality only on a couple of big races, the first being the Poker Handicap and the second was the Jaipur Stakes. He was a very useful sire though and his offspring have included Smarty Jones, Raven’s Pass, Quality Road and Maryfield. Elusive Kate won the Prix du Calvados and the Prix Marcel Boussac, as a two year-old. Before winning the Falmouth Stakes, in her four year-old campaign, she also won the Prix Rothschild on two occasions.
Older race fans will remember a superb Falmouth-winning (1983) filly that went by the name of Royal Heroine. Owned by Robert Sangster, this Irish brown thoroughbred won well over one and a quarter million dollars in prize-money. Her other most notable victories came in the Princess Margaret Stakes (1982), the Prix de l’Opéra (1983), the Beverly Hills Handicap (1984), the Matriarch Stakes (1984), the Inglewood Handicap (1984) and the Breeders’ Cup Mile (1984).
She was named American Champion Female Turf Horse in 1984 and a race has been named in her honour – the Royal Heroine Mile Stakes at Hollywood Park (USA).
Unfortunately, none of her direct offspring proved anywhere near as good as her on the track, even though she was bred to the likes of Sadler’s Wells and Affirmed. However, one of her daughters, Castilian Queen (Diesis), did produce Carmine Lake who was a French Grade 1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner.
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