Breeders Cup beckons for Irish Champion The Fugue
Return to California definitely on the cards for John Gosden's super filly
In becoming just the fourth filly to land the Irish Champion Stakes in 25 years, The Fugue booked herself another crack at the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita in November. And at a stand out price of 7/4 with Ladbrokes, it would be a big call to ignore the four-year-old.
A second Group 1 win in the space of two weeks at Leopardstown, following her majestic display against her own sex in the Yorkshire Oaks confirmed that John Gosden’s charge has lost none of her ability.
And in doing so on ground significantly softer than she would have been happy with in the past, proved those who said she needed firm ground wrong.
Connections have confirmed that a return to the States is on the cards for the daughter of Dansili, and in this sort of form she will be hard to beat.
She was one of many hard luck stories at last year’s Breeders Cup meeting, facing traffic problems on the home turn, before plugging on well for third behind Zagora.
If William Buick has learned from that experience and his mount continues to impress, she can continue the excellent record of British and Irish-trained fillies in this race.
Over the last 10 runnings 40 per cent of the placed horses have come from these shores, from just 27 per cent of the total runners. Quite an impressive return considering the home advantage the American trainers hold, not to mention the controversial use of the drug Lasix that is permissible in US racing, perhaps not being used by visiting connections.
In fact, four UK-based runners have landed the last 10 renewals. With Sir Henry Cecil’s Midday and Sir Michael Stoute’s Islington coming either side of a double from the great mare Ouija Board in 2004 and 2006.
But for The Fugue to be spoken of in the same way as Ed Dunlop’s seven-time Group 1 heroine, she surely needs to claim victory in California. And given the form she is in, who’s to say she can’t?
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing