British Champions Day, Saturday 19th October – Ascot 2:45 1m 4f (1m 3f 211y) QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (3yo+)

The race was first run in 1946 and was originally called the Princess Royal Stakes. When the current race grading system was introduced in 1971 the Princess Royal Stakes was classified as a Group 3 race. Its status was elevated to Group 2 status in 2008 when it was transferred to Newmarket and was renamed the Pride Stakes. In 2011 it was moved back to Ascot and given its current name when it became part of the card on British Champions Day, and it was finally granted Group 1 status in 2013.

The race is open to horses aged three years old plus and in the 37 renewals since 1979 has only once been won by a horse over the age of four, with Crystal Capella winning in 2010.

The betting is a fair guide to finding the winner with nine of the last 12 winners being found in the first three in the betting. However, bigger priced winners are not to be ruled out as horses with odds of 16/1, 14/1 and 12/1 have also won in the period.

With five of the last 12 winners having won on their previous start, current winning form can be useful. Also, look out for horses with a recent run, as nine of the last 12 winners ran within 37 days of the race. A previous run at Ascot is not as important, as only five of the last 12 winners had run previously run over the course. Winning form over the race distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs is key requirement as nine of the last 12 winners previously won at least once over the trip.

Look for horses who have run at least three times earlier in the season as 11 of the last 12 winners had run three times or more before the race and 11 of the 12 had at least one win earlier in the campaign.

An Official Rating of 101 of higher has been required to win the race in 10 of the last 12 renewals and nine of the last 12 winners had also previously won a Group race.

John Gosden has three runners in the race and has the top two in the market. Market favourite Star Catcher looks the most attractive proposition. The three year old bay filly has won the Irish Oaks in July. She was then given a break before coming back to win the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamps in September. Since stepping up to 1 mile 4 furlongs Star Catcher has won all three of her starts making all on her last two starts in Group 1 company. She has a very willing attitude which will be a real asset in the Heavy ground tomorrow. She won her maiden at Newbury in Soft ground so looks at home in easier conditions.

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