Charlie Fellowes eager to take Champions Sprint test with Vadream

Connections of Vadream have opted to take the plunge and supplement the filly for the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Saturday following the scratching of Starman.

The three-year-old was added to the field for the six-furlong Group One at the five-day confirmation stage, which makes a total of 22 hopefuls.

Ante-post favourite Starman, winner of the July Cup, was the most notable absentee after suffering a setback. The Ed Walker-trained four-year-old colt has been retired.

Vadream staked her claim for consideration with a timely success in the Group Three Bengough Stakes at the Berkshire track at the beginning of the month.

Trainer Charlie Fellowes is happy for the daughter of Brazen Beau to take her chance, though he has every sympathy for the Starman team.

“She won a course-and-distance Group Three a couple of weeks ago. She’s bounced out of that race,” he said.

“Starman being out blows a massive hole in the race because he’s an outstanding sprinter. I’m genuinely gutted for Ed because I know they have had to pick and choose where they run this horse and the ground was about to come in his favour. It’s a real shame for them.

“Our filly is proven over the course and distance. She’ll go on any ground. It should be beautiful which won’t bother her one bit and Ascot really suits her racing style.

rainer Charlie Fellowes is delighted the way Vadream has come out of her last race
Trainer Charlie Fellowes is delighted the way Vadream has come out of her last race (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We’d be mad not to give it a crack. This will be her last run of the year and she stays in training next year so it was a no-brainer. I couldn’t be happier the way she’s come out of her race.”

One of the leading fancies is Archie Watson’s consistent three-year-old Dragon Symbol while Watson has a second string in last year’s winner Glen Shiel. Others in the mix include Rohaan, Art Power and Creative Force.

Trueshan and Stradivarius, first and second in the Prix du Cadran earlier this month, could clash again in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The Alan King-trained Trueshan took this prize 12 months ago while John and Thady Gosden’s Stradivarius was successful in 2018.

Stradivarius failed to sparkle on testing ground in France
Stradivarius failed to sparkle on testing ground in France (Mike Egerton/PA)

John Gosden felt the team made an error in opting to run at ParisLongchamp, with conditions against Stradivarius.

He said: “We made a mistake running in France on ground which was not what we had been led to expect.

“On the Saturday they were running on ground that had been used for the Trials and while he ran a valiant race, it was just not his ground.”

While the Ascot going may be more to Stradivarius’ liking, King is yet to make a decision on whether soft-ground specialist Trueshan will line up.

He said: “I’ve left Trueshan in and we’ll make a decision on Thursday. We’ll do a bit with him mid-week and see how everything pans out, but I can’t see any rain in the forecast.

“He has only cantered since Longchamp but he looks a picture. The Prix Royal-Oak the following weekend is there if we need it instead, but I’m told there’s not much rain about in France either and I’d prefer to go to Ascot.”

Hamish, Princess Zoe and The Mediterranean are among other smart stayers standing their ground.

Search For A Song has multiple options at Ascot
Search For A Song has multiple options at Ascot (Niall Carson/PA)

Two-time Irish St Leger heroine Search For A Song, trained by Dermot Weld, has an alternative entry in the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes.

The 12 possibles are headed by Aidan O’Brien’s classy pair of Snowfall and Love.

Oaks winner Snowfall would be making a quick reappearance after finishing sixth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, while Love was a late withdrawal after developing a temperature. Both are also entered in the Champion Stakes.

Paddy Twomey’s La Petite Coco, who lowered Love’s colours in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh last month, is expected to take her chance.

The Gosden-trained Free Wind heads the ante-post market following convincing victories in the Prix Minerve at Deauville and the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

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