Queen's Trust denies Lady Eli in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

November 5th, 2016

When 8-5 favorite Lady Eli went after front runner Avenge in the stretch of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), the laminitis-defeating star appeared on the verge of crowning a fairy-tale comeback. But the blaze face of Cheveley Park’s homebred Queen’s Trust was quickening wider out, and just nipped the betting – and sentimental – choice at the wire.

Sent off at 8-1 after a string of high-profile placings in the Nassau (G1) (to Minding), Yorkshire Oaks (G1) (to Seventh Heaven and Found), and the British Champions Fillies & Mares (G1) (beating Seventh Heaven), the British shipper picked the perfect time for a breakthrough.

Queen’s Trust gave her trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, his seventh career Breeders’ Cup score; jockey Frankie Dettori his 12th; and sire Dansili his second, after Dank won this race (also for Stoute) in 2013.

As expected, the pace was hot, and Avenge did the honors through demanding fractions of :23.10, :46.16, 1:10.11 and 1:34.12. Lady Eli was traveling sweetly off the pace, but 7-2 second choice, Seventh Heaven, was beginning to look outpaced as she was scrubbed along on the far turn. It didn’t help that she had to steady at around that time too.

Although Avenge tried to open up an insurmountable advantage at the top of the lane, Lady Eli and Queen’s Trust had too much firepower. Dettori produced his mount in the nick of time, and it was no mean feat for Queen’s Trust to catch Lady Eli in full flight.

The photo-finish evoked memories of Friday’s epic Beholder vs. Songbird battle, only this time, it was the three-year-old denying her elder.

The final time for the 1 1/4 miles was a stakes-record 1:57.75, and not far off Red Giant’s course mark of 1:57.16 established on September 27, 2008.

Avenge ran a massive race to hold third after setting up a stakes-record time. Seventh Heaven regrouped to take fourth, and it’s doubtful she’d ever have the finishing speed at this trip to trouble the top two anyway.

Might Queen’s Trust be the first half of a double for Dansili, who sends out Flintshire in the Turf (G1)?