Well-backed Magical came out on top of a strong Aidan O’Brien contingent in the British Champions Day Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot. Magical is a full sister to Bush Hill sire Flying The Flag and triple Gr1 winner, Rhododendron who will also be lining up at Ascot.
The daughter of Galileo stormed past favourite Lah Ti Dar into the lead with just over a furlong remaining and saw out the trip well to win by a length under Ryan Moore.
John Gosden, responsible for the favourite, saddled the eventual runner-up Coronet, who came with a strong finish but never looked like catching the 5/1 winner.
Lah Ti Dar, who finished second in the St Leger at Doncaster last month, came home third.
O’Brien said: “She ran a lovely race in the Arc finished 10th), and we really fancied her for the Oaks last year – (but) she had a little setback and didn’t get to run.
“Wayne (Lordan) rode her in the Arc and he loved her. Wayne came in after the Arc and he was brilliant, he said there was no doubt this filly does get a mile and a half as that was her first time over a mile and a half and that is why we came back here.
“She was working lovely – and we’re really, really delighted.
“We were always going to take our time with her (in the race), and she had a lovely position and relaxed. So I couldn’t have been happier.
“That is her first Group One. We thought she might handle ease in the ground as she had form with ease in the ground as a two-year-old.
Asked about a trip to the Breeders’ Cup, the Ballydoyle trainer said: “It’s possible. Obviously, the lads will decide what they want to do – like they always do.
“We see how they come out of races, then we suggest a plan we think might suit – then the lads will make the decision themselves.
“She is very valuable and as she had an injury we want to make sure she is OK if she was to go to America.”
Super sire Galileo surpassed his sire Sadler’s Wells’ record of Group 1 winners when Magical became number 74 after today’s victory in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.
International Group winner Flying The Flag, a big handsome imposing chestnut with an excellent temperament will have his first yearlings on sale in 2019. He is producing large foals with plenty of quality and muscle, a very exciting prospect for KZN and South Africa. He has covered quality mares since going to stud, amongst them Vin Fizz – the dam of Pierre Jourdan, Champagne Haze and Dubai export, Belle Rose.
From the family of Photo Call, Verglas and Stravinsky, Flying The Flag stands for a fee of R20 000 at Warwick and Karin Render’s Bush Hill Stud.