Duke Of Marmalade made international headlines on Saturday when his tough as teak daughter Simple Verse landed the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.
The three-year-old filly produced an outstanding performance to defeat a field which included no fewer than four individual G1 winners. Among those beaten by Simple Verse were G1 Irish Oaks/Prix de L’Opera winner Covert Love, former G1 Yorkshire Oaks winner Tapestry and last year’s QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes winner Madame Chiang. Interestingly another scalp claimed by Duke Of Marmalade’s daughter was Arabian Queen –winner of the G1 Juddmonte International and the only horse to have defeated the mighty Golden Horn.
Simple Verse, given a fine ride by Andrea Atzeni, was coming off an historic win in the G1 Ladbrokes St Leger and proved that the drop back in trip was no problem with a fluent win in the 2400m contest.
The Frankie Dettori ridden Journey, an eight length Listed winner last time out, looked to have skipped her field at the top of the straight but Simple Verse showed a never-say-die attitude by running on strongly and denying her rival victory by three parts of a length. It was another two lengths back to third place finisher, Beautiful Romance.
Winning jockey was full of praise for his mount, saying, “They went a nice gallop and it all worked out nicely. Frankie got a length away from me, but I knew my filly stayed and once I got there I knew I’d outstay him.”
“She’s obviously improved, she’s getting stronger and she’ll only get better next year
Trained by Ralph Beckett, the big hearted Simple Verse has now won five of eight outings and has now won her last four races on the trot. The filly, who has banked just a shade under £800 000 in prize money, has now three group victories to her credit, with her St Leger win being preceded by a triumph in the G3 Markel Insurance Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood.
The sophomore stays in training, with her 2016 targets likely to include the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (a race won by her sire in 2008).
Simple Verse, the first filly since User Friendly to have won the St Leger (Britain’s oldest classic), is one of four European classic winners for her sire in 2015 –with Duke Of Marmalade also having winners of the G1 Prix de Diane, G1 Deutsches Derby and G3 Premio Regina Elena.