Galileo's Hydrangea Registers Landmark Win for Ballydoyle in the Fillies & Mares

3rd at ASC, Gr. Stk, £627,500G1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares S. (11f 211y)Winner: Hydrangea (Ire), f, 3 by Galileo (Ire)

Hydrangea, Aidan O'Brien and connections |


   Hydrangea (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was rewarded for her consistency with a career high in last month's G1 Matron S. at Leopardstown before just failing to usurp stablemate Rhododendron (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in Chantilly's G1 Prix de l'Opera on Arc day at the beginning of this month, but bounced back in game fashion to provide Aidan O'Brien with a record-equalling 25th Group 1 win of the year in Saturday's G1 British Champions Fillies & Mares S. at Ascot. Settling into a smooth rhythm without cover for most of the contest, the 4-1 chance made rapid headway rounding the home turn to seize control at the quarter-mile marker and, despite the ominous attention of 7-4 favourite Bateel (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) approaching the final furlong, readily withstood that rival's vain bid to hit the line with a decisive two lengths to spare. TDN Rising Star Coronet (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), as ever, rallied late to finish a further 1 3/4 lengths adrift in third. “Everyone puts in a lot of hard work, day in day out, and it's incredible,” said a typically modest O'Brien after matching the late Bobby Frankel's 2003 landmark feat of 25 top-level wins in a calendar year. “We're a small link in a long chain and we are so grateful and delighted for everybody involved. Galileos just do not stop, they go any distance from short to long and the will to win is just incredible.” Winning rider Ryan Moore added, “What Aidan has achieved this year is simply remarkable and it's a massive team effort. This filly has been on the go all year and just gets better and better. She has stepped up in trip in her last two runs and I was hoping the ground would have been better than it was, but she has a lovely attitude.”
   Hydrangea, who graduated in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden in her third start last year, embarked on a run of three runner-up finishes–in the G2 Debutante S., G1 Moyglare Stud S. and G1 Fillies' Mile–before closing a busy juvenile campaign with a last-of-14 effort in Santa Anita's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She opened this term with a win in Leopardstown's G3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial, was off colour in the G1 1000 Guineas and was in the money in the Irish equivalent, Royal Ascot's G1 Coronation S. and the G1 Nassau S. at Goodwood. On song in the Sept. 9 G1 Matron S. on her return to Leopardstown, she was back up in trip for Chantilly's G1 Prix de l'Opera and climbed the ladder once more for her first start beyond 10 furlongs here. “These Group 1s are so hard to win and you never expect anything,” insisted Aidan O'Brien, who was crowned Britain's champion trainer in the aftermath of another day's prize collecting. “It was Ryan's idea to run her as he thought there was a chance she could get this trip. We weren't sure, but she obviously did and it is brilliant. We do our best every single day and that's all we can do. It's great to be here and I am so grateful to everybody. There are so many variables and so many things which can go wrong. When you miss at it you never know whether you are ever going to get back there or not. That's the way it is and the way things stack up. Sometimes all your ducks come in a row and sometimes they don't, but you just have to accept it and move on.”
   Runner-up Bateel (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire})–who had previously registered incremental scores in the June 10 G3 Pinnacle S., Aug. 6 G2 Prix de Pomone and Sept. 10 G1 Prix Vermeille–looked a viable threat inside the final quarter mile, but was unable to follow through once Hydrangea engaged turbo in the closing stages. Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard was nonetheless delighted with his charge and said, “Bateel has run a fantastic race. She had the ground she likes, she had a perfect run and there are no excuses. She came upsides Hydrangea, but when Ryan [Moore] asked his filly she ran away from us. She was on top of her game for the Vermeille and was at her best today. There wouldn't be much more improvement in her, but she is a genuine Group 1 filly. She has done a fantastic job this season and deserves a place at stud. She will go for a break now and we will chat with the owners regarding her future. I'd be happy to have her back and also happy for her to go stud. Every eventuality is a good outcome.” Jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot added, “Bateel has run a great race, but when she came upsides Hydrangea went away and was not for catching. She has run really well, but came up against a good one.” James Wigan, racing manager for owner Prince Faisal's Denford Stud, confirmed TDN Rising Star Coronet (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) is to remain in training as a 4-year-old and said, “We are thrilled with her performance and she stays in training for next season.”
   Hydrangea is the second Group 1 winner for G2 Prix du Gros-Chene and G3 Prix d'Arenberg victress Beauty Is Truth (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}), who is also the dam of G1 Ranvet S. victor The United States (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and GSW G1 Moyglare Stud S. and G1 Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Fire Lily (Ire) (Dansili {GB}). Her second dam Zelding (Ire) (Warning {GB}) annexed the G3 Prix du Bois and also produced the stakes-winning G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and G1 Prix de Diane placegetter Glorious Sight (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}). Hydrangea's third dam Zelda (Ire) (Caerleon), a half-sister to five black-type winners headed by the G1 Breeders' Cup Mile-winning sire Last Tycoon (Ire) (Try My Best), threw two more Group winners in G2 Prix Robert Papin hero Zipping (Ire) (Zafonic) and G3 Prix du Petit-Couvert scorer Nipping (Ire) (Night Shift). Zelda is also kin to Listed Prix La Camargo winner Side of Paradise (Ire) (Sadler's Wells), herself the dam of G1 Coronation S. and G1 Prix Jacques le Marois heroine Immortal Verse (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}). Beauty Is Truth also has an as yet unraced 2-year-old full-brother to Hydrangea, named Adelphi (Ire), a yearling filly by Galileo (Ire) and a filly foal by Galileo (Ire).

Saturday, Ascot, Britain
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS FILLIES & MARES S.-G1, £627,500, ASC, 10-21, 3yo/up, f, 11f 211yT, 2:40.82, sf.
1–HYDRANGEA (IRE), 125, f, 3, by Galileo (Ire)
1st Dam: Beauty Is Truth (Ire) (MGSW-Fr, $226,426), by Pivotal (GB)
2nd Dam: Zelding (Ire), by Warning (GB)
3rd Dam: Zelda (Ire), by Caerleon
O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Beauty Is Truth Syndicate (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien; J-Ryan Moore. £355,855. Lifetime Record: G1SW-Ire & G1SP-Fr, 15-4-5-2, $1,266,027. *Full to The United States (Ire), G1SW-Aus & GSW-Ire, $1,684,244; and 1/2 to Fire Lily (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), Hwt. 3yo-Ire at 5-7f, MGSW & G1SP-Ire, G1SP-Fr & GSP-Eng, $412,541. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bateel (Ire), 131, m, 5, Dubawi (Ire)–Attractive Crown, by Chief's Crown. O-Al Asayl Bloodstock Ltd; B-Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nayhan (IRE); T-Francis-Henri Graffard. £134,913.3–Coronet (GB), 125, f, 3, Dubawi (Ire)–Approach (GB), by Darshaan (GB). O/B-Denford Stud Ltd (GB); T-John Gosden. £67,519.
Margins: 2, 1 3/4, 5. Odds: 4.00, 1.75, 5.50.
Also Ran: The Juliet Rose (Fr), The Black Princess (Fr), Journey (GB), Alyssa (GB), Horseplay (GB), Left Hand (GB), Wild Irish Rose (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.