QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mare Stakes: Wonderful Tonight strikes

Wonderful Tonight has the measure of Dame Maillot

Wonderful Tonight (4/1 favourite) halted the Hollie Doyle bandwagon when beating Dame Malliot (5/1) in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

William Buick's mount had provided trainer David Menuisier with his first Group One winner in the Qatar Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp last time and tanked through this contest despite dropping in trip.

Buick parked her behind the trailblazing Manuela De Vega and booted her for home upon turning in.

Doyle was alive to the danger on Dame Malliot but she could never get to her rival who stayed on powerfully to score by two-and-a-half lengths.

Passion (14/1) flew home from the rear of the field for third, passing the strong-travelling Mehdaayih (8/1) close home.


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The winning trainer said: "We knew she was very good and the only question mark was whether she’d recovered from Arc weekend or not – I haven't and I’m glad she did!

“She's top class all round, easy to train and as tough as anything. She’s getting better and better and there's improvement to come. She was a tad keen early on and once she learns to settle she can go up a notch again.

"You never know with fillies if they will train on or not, but we wanted to keep her as a four-year-old to target the Arc next year.

“We nearly ran in the Arc this year and I think she would have run a stormer. She wasn’t a Group One winner, but now she is the sky is the limit.”

William Buick returns on Wonderful Tonight

Buick added: “It’s the trainer's second Group One winner, this filly won a Group One in France, first in the UK, which is obviously massively important.

“This filly, she’s rock solid. David was very confident beforehand she’s just very straightforward. She’s proven on the ground and she stays well, so she ticks a lot of boxes and to be honest with you I’ve been looking forward to riding this filly all week.

“She was out on her own all the way up the straight, it’s a long, daunting straight no matter what you’re riding but she was fantastic.”

Sky Bet halved her in price to 20/1 for the ParisLongchamp showpiece, Head of Sports PR Michael Shinners said: "That was a really taking performance by Wonderful Tonight, who looks to be improving all the time. The Arc is her target it and will be fascinating to see how she progresses again next year."

Doyle said of Dame Malliot: “She has run really well. She was a bit keen early on, as expected. She has done nothing wrong in defeat.

“To be honest I followed the winner the whole way round. I thought ‘perfect, pitch here’, but Will pushed the button and he took a few lengths out of me, whereas she just stayed on at the one pace.”

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