Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum’s Addeybb recorded a first Group 1 strike on British soil in the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Runner-up to Magical in the 2019 renewal, Addeybb has since shown top-class form in Australia for the William Haggas stable, winning a pair of top-level contests under Tom Marquand, who was again in the saddle on Saturday.
Always near the head of affairs, Addeybb travelled strongly throughout the ten-furlong contest and when Marquand asked his mount to put a seal on matters in the straight, Addeybb galloped on strongly to score by two and a quarter lengths from French raider Skalleti, with Magical half a length away in third.
It was Marquand’s partner, Hollie Doyle, who began Champions Day with a bang, riding the first two winners. Trueshan, trained by Alan King for Barbury Lions 5, got the ball rolling in the Group 2 Long Distance Cup, relishing the step up two miles on soft ground to score an emphatic seven and a half length victory.
Doyle then produced an outstanding ride on the Archie Watson-trained Glen Shiel in the Sprint Stakes (6f), making every post a winning one and fending off the fast-finishing Brando to gain the spoils by a nose. It was her first Group 1 success and also a maiden top-level triumph for Glen Shiel, an ex-French six-year-old gelding owned by Hambleton Racing XXXVI & Partner.
The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1m) fell to French challenger The Revenant, a renowned lover of testing ground, with Pierre-Charles Boudot seen at his strongest to reel in Roseman, given an enterprising front-running ride by Andrea Atzeni.
The five-year-old gelding, trained by Francis-Henri Graffard for Al Asayl France, chased home King Of Change in the 2019 race and was landing his first Group 1, having previously scored three times at Group 2 level.
Wonderful Tonight showed her appreciation of a soft surface when taking the Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on Arc weekend and the daughter of Le Havre doubled her Group 1 tally with an impressive performance in the Fillies & Mares Stakes (1m4f).
Chris Wright’s filly was always prominent under William Buick and ran on powerfully to see off Dame Malliot by two and a half lengths, providing trainer David Menuisier, who unearthed Wonderful Tonight at the Arqana sales, with a first Group 1 winner.
It was an afternoon to forget for trainer John Gosden as the well-fancied trio of Stradivarius, Palace Pier and Mishriff all failed to fire in their respective assignments.
The concluding Balmoral Handicap (1m) fell to the Jessica Harrington-trained Njord, owned by the Blessingindisguise Partnership, providing Tom Marquand with a double on the day.