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Sun Chariot Stakes – Runner-By-Runner Guide + Verdict To Saturday’s Group 1

The Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes for the fillies over the mile is the feature contest at Newmarket on Saturday, and there is set to be 8 runners heading to post for the £165,000 winning prize pot. This a race that has produced some nice fillies in past, including the likes of Indian Skimmer, Attraction and Laurens to name a few.

Last years renewal of the race produced a bit of a shock with Fonteyn winning at 16/1, could we have a short priced winner of the race this year?

GG editor Jake Russell previews this years race, identifying the key trends for the race, before running through the runners and giving his expert verdict on who he expects to win.

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Last year’s renewal saw Kevin Ryan’s FONTEYN cause a major upset, running out a shock 16/1 winner under a fine Neil Callan ride:

  • 6 of the last 12 winners were aged 3, 6 of the last 12 winners were aged 4 or older.
  • 6 of the last 12 winners were favourites/joint favourites, 8 of the last 12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
  • 5 of the last 12 winners won on their last run before the Sun Chariot Stakes, 9 of the last 12 winners had their last run within the last 48 days.
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 2 previous runs at Newmarket, 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 previous win at Newmarket.
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 4 previous runs over 8 furlongs, 11 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 previous win over 8 furlongs, 8 of the last 12 winners had at least 2 previous wins over 8 furlongs.
  • 11 of the last 12 winners had at least 7 previous flat runs, 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 3 previous flat wins.
  • 8 of the last 12 winners had a rating of 114 or higher.
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 win in a group 1-3 race, 9 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 win in a group 1 race.
  • 12 of the last 12 winners had at least 4 runs that season, 12 of the last 12 winners had a previous win that season.

Runner-By-Runner Guide

3. Inspiral

(John & Thady Gosden/Frankie Dettori)

There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said already about this filly, she is probably the star of the Gosden show and is a 4-time Group 1 winner. That includes a Fillies Mile as a 2yo, An awesome seasonal debut win in the Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting last season as a 3yo and then back to back Prix Du Jacques le Marois in France in both 2022 and 2023.

Her win in the race for this year was her last run, and it was an excellent performance from horse and Jockey, as she arrived into the race on a little recovery mission after a disappointing last placed effort in the Sussex Stakes. You can draw a line through that however as the ground conditions were awful, and she very much bounced back to her best next time out in France. Not really well fancied on the day, she came up against the well supported Big Rock and she did firmly put him in his place, racing at the rear of the field throughout before Frankie said go just 2 furlongs from home, before challenging and pulling clear inside the final furlong, staying on well. That was a canny ride by Frankie who knows this horse so well, and that performance last time might have been somewhat a career best for her, as the fourth placed horse Onesto has since come out and placed in the Arc, also Big Rock is a decent enough animal.

Even though we have what looks to be a decent French challenger coming over to do battle with her, I think she is very much the one they all have to beat, and it would be slightly disappointing to see her lose this contest. Although in the past few years, there has been the odd one or two bigger priced winners. There wont be many opportunities for Inspiral to land another Group 1, as I’m sure she will head to the breeding shed next year.

Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (British Champions Series)

4. Mqse De Sevigne

(Andre Fabre/Alexis Pouchin)

Again like I always say when doing a write up about a French raider, I’m not going to pretend to know an awful lot about them, but I think it is there for all to see how good this French Filly actually is. Looking at her previous form, she arrives here with a decent chance after some very good winning efforts of late. She is trained by Andre Fabre, who has won everything there is in France three times over, and he doesn’t usually bring one over to race in the UK unless it is a good one.

She was pitched into the French 1000 Guineas on just her fourth career run, so that goes to show connections held her in high regard even as a youngster. But she has since taken a little time to really get into her stride and get he head in front, as she placed 2nd in multiple Group and Listed contest as a 3yo and early 4yo, before going on to get her head in front for the first time in over a year at Deauville in July. That was in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild over 1 mile, where she held on gamely to win with some decent horses in behind, but probably a career best came next time out which so happened to be her last run. She lined up against Via Sistina in the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet over 1m2f, where she got the better of her to win by a nose.

Personally I think her best runs have come over the 1m2f trip, and the way she races really suits how they run in France, I just feel this might be a little to much for her, epically over the mile against a horse in Inspiral who has gears but also plenty of pace. That being said, she is very much on an upward trajectory at present, and a Multiple Group 1 winner now, so she has to be taken very seriously in this.

Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (British Champions Series)

8. Meditate

(Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore)

I must admit, after her scintillating performance over a mile in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November with Pleasant Passage 2 lengths in behind, I thought she would be a real force over this trip as a 3yo. That being said she has run in some good contests this season, including a 6th in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, and then finishing 2nd behind Tahiyra again in the Irish 1000 Guineas at The Curragh. She has since been beaten by that filly again, this time in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, where she did run a shade disappointingly, fading late on to finish 4th. A trip over to France for the Prix Jean Prat was on the cards next where she had her unfavoured soft conditions, and things just didn’t go right throughout the race, she finished 11th out of just 12 runners. She did bounce to somewhat a decent level of form last time out however, when lining up in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown where she had to see the back end of Tahiyra once again, to finish 4th only beaten by 3 and a half lengths. That was a much better run, and given she was short of room at a crucial stage in the race, she still plugged on well heading to the line.

She obviously prefers the better conditions, which she should hopefully get on Saturday, however with the main two fillies in the market, I just think she would struggle to land a glove on them, even at her best form. She comes up against two of the best older fillies in Europe at the moment which will make it difficult for her. However, it would be such an Aidan O’Brien thing to get her back firing on all cylinders and win a race like this, he is the master of Ballydoyle at the end of the day.

Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (British Champions Series)

2. Heredia

(Richard Hannon/Sean Levey)

The Richard Hannon daughter of Dark Angel has really come on wonders this season, and it is also worth bearing in mind that she has had just the 12 career runs, with 6 of them resulting in a win, a very solid 50% winning strike rate for her career.

She was a nice prospect as a 2yo, winning both of her starts, before going on to win on her 3yo debut and then the Sandringham at the Royal Meeting, preserving her unbeaten record in the process. She was then pitched into patterned company, coming 3rd in a Listed race when sent off odds on favourite, before slightly disappointing in her last two starts as a 3yo. She then kick started her 4yo career with a 2nd placed effort over 6 furlongs in a Listed contest, only beaten half a length at a trip that probably isn’t ideal. She then raced twice more after that coming 2nd and 4th, looking as if she slightly lost her way, but she bounced back in a very decent way at Haydock. That was in the Listed Dick Hern Stakes, where she beat Purplepay by 3 and three quarter lengths, with the 3rd place horse a further 2 lengths behind. But it was her run last time out in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes that caught the eye, keeping on well to deny Queen For You by three quarters of a length, with the 3rd place horse 2 lengths behind them.

Her form is a little way off the main protagonists in the market with them being multiple Group 1 winners. But she hasn’t had a try at Group 1 level yet, and she is on that winning groove again, now running off 107 which is a career high. She is someway off on ratings however so really needs to improve, but I feel now she has her head back in front, she will run a cracking race here and outrun her odds.

Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (British Champions Series)

Big-Race Verdict

I just want to start off by saying I really do think it is between the top four in the market (maybe the top three), although the other runners are very good horses, I just think they lack the Group 1 class that the main four in here have. It’s a boring pick but INSPIRAL wins for me, and probabaly wins it well. She’s a multiple Group 1 winner and her performance last time was very impressive, given an excellent ride from Frankie Dettori who really took the bull by the horns and rode her like the best horse in the race. I just feel the race could be run to suit her, whereas it wouldn’t particularly suit the French raider, and the Gosden filly is pretty versatile on the ground. I would be a little disappointed to not see her win this, and as mentioned there aren’t many more Group 1’s for her to win given you would expect her to be retired next season.

Richard Hannon’s Heredia is in good form of late, and although has a little to find on ratings, she has found the winning thread, which worked so well for her as a 2yo/3yo when going on 4 race winning streak. She could run well and grab a place at a decent price.

SELECTION: Inspiral (To win – 1/1 generally) & Heredia (E/W – 10/1 generally)

*odds correct at time of posting – 3.30pm Thursday 5th October*

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