Seal Of Approval: hands a first Group 1 success to jockey George BakerPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Seal Of Approval springs Fillies & Mares shock
Report: Ascot, Saturday
Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo+
SEAL OF APPROVAL powered home inside the final furlong to land a shock result in the Group 1 British Champion Fillies & Mares Stakes at odds of 16-1.
The rank outsider of the field of nine, who unseated rider Hayley Turner at Doncaster last time out, did not have a clear run of things as she found trouble on numerous occasions but she eventually prevailed thanks mainly to a brilliant ride from George Baker.
"I was tight for room in the home straight, but once she got daylight she picked up," said Baker.
"I thought after I won on her at Newbury she was okay, but I feel very sorry for Hayley Turner - she's her ride.
"She must be at home broken-hearted, but has done a great job with this filly."
The James Fanshawe-trained filly travelled towards the rear of the field throughout the early stages but was by no means eyecatching and Baker admitted the four-year-old was not going particularly smoothly.
"I didn't travel too well, but she got on the bridle and picked up nicely - I got there a bit soon," added Baker.
"I'm 31 and have waited a long time for this - I hope I don't have to wait that long for the next. Thanks to Mr Fanshawe for giving me the opportunity."
Seal Of Approval was beaten at Doncaster last time by The Lark, who was a non-runner due to being in season, unseating Turner in that race - an incident which forced the jockey to miss the rest of the season through injury - and a thrilled Fanshawe took time to pay tribute to the jockey.
"We always felt she liked soft ground and it's great for the owners, who bred her," said the trainer. "The only sad thing is Hayley's not riding after getting injured at Doncaster.
"It's a great thrill and I'm grateful to Qipco for their support [of the day].
"She's shown real resilience there. A lot of horses wouldn't have battled through the gaps after what she went through at Doncaster."