3:00 – Newmarket – ETIHAD AIRWAYS FALMOUTH STAKES (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES) (GROUP 1) (FILLIES & MARES) (CLASS 1) (3yo+) Soft 1m
After a surprise winner of last year’s renewal of the Falmouth Stakes this year’s favourite looks very hard to oppose. Golden Lilac who won the French 1,000 Guineas and the French Oaks last year looked as good as ever when winning the Group 1 Prix d’ Ispahan at Longchamp in May when she beat two Group 1 winning male horses in the form of Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles and Planteur to prove that she is a very serious mare at the top level.
She has only run 7 times in her career to date and she has won six times. Five of her runs have come in pattern class races and she has won at Group 1 three times and Group 3 once. She is running in the UK for the first time today and the ground which is Soft will suit her very well. She has run in Soft ground once when she won as a 2 year old and she has run in Good to Soft ground three times winning twice, one of which was her win in the French Oaks last season.
She is also versatile as far as race distance is concerned. She runs over 1 mile today and she has run over the trip four times, winning on each occasion, including her French 1,000 Guineas win. She also has plenty of stamina to cope with the soft going as she has won at 1 mile 1 furlong and 1 mile 3 furlongs, both times at Group 1 level.
Maxime Goyon rides her today and as her regular jockey he has only missed one ride on her when he was suspended for the French 1,000 guineas last May. He has ridden for Golden Lilac’s trainer Andre Fabre three times in the UK winning once.
If she is at the top of her game Golden Lilac should quite simply be to good for her field today, even in Group 1 company. Her yard is in decent form with 5 winners from 19 runners in the past 14 days and she has the benefit of her regular jockey in the plate. She runs in a field of 11 runners today and as she has won in fields of 12 and 16 runners in the past the size of the field will not phase her. Andre Fabre does not send to many horses over to the UK but in the past 5 seasons he has a 25% winning strike rate and it would not be at all surprising if Golden Lilac turned out to be the best filly in Europe by the end of the season.