'We'll try and win the Arc' - dreams revived as Emily Upjohn gets her Group 1

Emily Upjohn: now 14-1 for next year's Arc
Emily Upjohn: now 14-1 for next year's ArcCredit: Edward Whitaker

Saturday: Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, Ascot

Emily Upjohn refuelled dreams she could emerge into an Arc contender as the exciting three-year-old finished the season displaying the same brilliance with which she started it.

The daughter of Sea The Stars, who was electric on her first two starts at Sandown and in York's Musidora Stakes in May, bounced back from a nightmare spell to win with the same dazzle which had once placed her at the top of the betting for the Arc.

That lofty position came, albeit for a short time, after an epic performance when a gut-wrenching second following a dismal start in the Oaks in June. More frustration came a month later when she flopped in the King George on her next start.

This had been a horse seemingly destined to win a Group 1, but luckily the Gosdens know precisely how to prime their middle-distance fillies to deliver. A three-month break and the fitting of a hood for the first time had her rejuvenated and arguably better than ever for British Flat racing's final-day feast.

Frankie Dettori was brimming with confidence after Kinross's victory earlier, and his mount appeared to be in a similar mood. She travelled with ease and authority, burst to the front in the straight and found plenty under pressure to charge clear and win by three lengths, justifying 3-1 favouritism.

Irish-trained pair Thunder Kiss and Insinuendo filled the places at odds of 50-1 and 80-1 respectively.

The winner's owners Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd Webber, Stuart Roden and Jonathan Shack, whose horses run under the name of his Tactful Finance business, have plenty to look forward to as they confirmed she would stay in training in 2023.

Bookmakers make Emily Upjohn 14-1 second favourite for next year's Arc, and an excited Shack told ITV Racing: "With luck on our side we'll try and do what Alpinista did and win the Arc.

"She's the best three-year-old filly. You have to be prepared for the ups and downs [in racing], but the point I've been making is that we had two years in lockdown, lost a lot of friends due to Covid, so we have to seize every day and enjoy it. This is what it's all about."

Frankie Dettori salutes the crowd on Emily Upjohn after her victory in the Fillies & Mares Stakes
Frankie Dettori salutes the crowd on Emily Upjohn after her victory in the Fillies & Mares StakesCredit: Edward Whitaker

Dettori, winning this race for a sixth time, added: "She's had plenty of TLC at home and the team have done a good job keeping her quiet and it's paid off. Well done everyone.

"It was a great performance after a three-month layoff. I had to go three wide and she won by three lengths, so it was a top-class performance."

Champions Day:

'It was ground, simple as that' - Baaeed's unbeaten record ended by Bay Bridge

Where did it go wrong for Baaeed as his sublime career ends in defeat?

'It's a funny old game' - 33-1 Bayside Boy strikes as Inspiral blows the start

'It was a proper battle' - Trueshan holds on to complete Champions Day hat-trick

Ascot erupts as Frankie Dettori and Kinross cruise home in Champions Sprint

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James StevensWest Country correspondent
Published on 15 October 2022Last updated 18:23, 15 October 2022