Last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook got back on the big-race trail in the Theo Fennell Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood.
Richard Hannon’s filly was a 66-1 winner of the first fillies’ Classic of 2018 and went on to run with credit in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Sun Chariot back at Newmarket.
Having won a Listed race at Chelmsford and finished second in another at Pontefract on her two most recent outings, the daughter of Champs Elysees was a 12-1 shot for this seven-furlong Group Three prize, with Coronation Stakes third Jubiloso all the rage as the even-money favourite.
Having been ridden with restraint during the early stages, Billesdon Brook was asked to close down the leaders racing inside the final two furlongs and picked up well for Sean Levey to get up and beat Perfection by a neck.
Hannon said: “It is lovely for everybody to see a Classic winner at meetings like this. Nobody ever begrudges her as she always turns up and runs her race every time.
“She deserves respect as she is a Classic winner, and breeders who keep horses like this in training deserve a pat on the back.
“She has been a star for us. People slightly forgot her after she won the Guineas, but there was no fluke about that.
“She looked like a monster when she won her nursery here. She is just a really sweet filly.”
David O’Meara said of the runner-up: “We are delighted with how she ran. It is frustrating she got nabbed. She has been placed in three separate Group races without winning one, but her day will come.
“She is very consistent and takes her racing well. I think seven furlongs is her trip.”
Supporters of Sir Michael Stoute’s Jubiloso will be cursing their luck as she encountered traffic problems in the straight before finishing strongly to grab third.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah, said: “It was just one of those races where nothing went right. She got a bump and got carved up. She didn’t get in a good position after that and couldn’t get out.
“It was just frustrating. You have to take the knock on the chin. I think she will stay a mile, so that will give us some more options.”
There was some drama after the line as Frankie Dettori was unshipped from the fifth placed Royal Intervention, but the popular Italian emerged unscathed.