Dettori has smooth Journey

Journey went one better than last year when running out a hugely impressive winner of the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

Journey ridden by Frankie Dettori wins the Fillies & Mares

Trained by John Gosden and ridden expertly by Frankie Dettori, she had been trained with this specific race in mind all season.

In what turned out to be a messy renewal, the Aidan O'Brien-trained favourite Seventh Heaven was slowly away and never in a position to challenge from her draw in stall 13.

Ryan Moore tried to take his medicine early by taking a pull on leaving the stalls and then looking for a gap on the rails but it never appeared.

Pretty Perfect was allowed a six-length lead at one point with Dettori heading the chasing pack and he still looked full of running turning in.

When Dettori pressed the button the response was immediate and Journey shot clear, winning at 4-1 by four lengths.

James Fanshawe's Prix de l'Opera winner Speedy Boarding ran another blinder finishing second, with Queen's Trust third and Seventh Heaven hot on their heels.

Dettori said: "She deserved a Group One, she has been running so well. I can't believe the turn of foot she showed today, she picked up like she had roller skates.

"She is a joy to ride and well done to the owners."

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Gosden said: "She's got a mind of her own and is very wilful, extremely talented. She's a wild little creature.

"I just told Frankie to get her settled as she'll tell you what she wants to do and you just listen – he rode her beautifully.

"She showed great acceleration. She was just caught last year when the ground was too soft for her, but that was a marvellous run as the St Leger winner (Simple Verse) won it.

"It was lovely to come back this year and win it."

Owner/breeder George Strawbridge said: "Before her first ever race she jocked William Buick off before the start. She's come a long way.

"She's very talented, she showed wonderful acceleration.

"This race has been marked out after she ran so well last year."

Fanshawe said: "She's run really well, it was not ideal running her 13 days after her win in France but she seemed really well in herself and Freddie (Tylicki) gave her a great ride.

"I wish she wasn't being retired, but the owners want to retire her. Obviously from a trainer's perspective I'd love her to carry on."

Chris Richardson, racing manager of Cheveley Park Stud, said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Queen's Trust: "It was just a shame but from a great draw she ended up getting squeezed out and forced to the back of the field on the outside.

"Andrea (Atzeni) had no option but to sit and suffer. It was a bit of a repeat of what happened her at the Royal meeting.

"I don't know if she'd have won but she'd have been up on the pace and she could have made it more of a race.

"She's been placed in three Group Ones now and was in great form today, it's just frustrating it didn't go her way.

"I think that's it for the year but she stays in training."

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