Ed Vaughan is looking to end his career on a high with Dame Malliot in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Saturday week.
The Newmarket-based handler announced in July he was going to hand in his licence and his star filly could give him the perfect send-off with victory in the mile-and-a-half Group One on Qipco British Champions Day.
Dame Malliot was third in the Prix Vermeille on her latest start – form which got a huge boost at ParisLongchamp at the weekend.
Vermeille winner Tarnawa won the Prix de l’Opera, while runner-up Raabihah was fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and also-rans Wonderful Tonight and Valia lifted the Prix Royallieu and Prix Chaudenay respectively.
“It’s worked out well, hasn’t it, and you know we were unlucky to be caught on the line for second by Raabihah, and look how well she ran in the Arc,” said Vaughan.
“Wouldn’t it be a fairytale end for me if Dame Malliot went and won at Ascot, but you know it will be a tough race for her.
“It would be a lovely way to go out, but opportunities in these races are few and far between for a trainer like me and at the bread and butter level, at which I’m mostly dealing, the costs are getting higher and higher.”
Dame Malliot gave Vaughan a career-first Group Two win at Deauville in August 2019, and scored at a similar level in the soft against colts in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July, when she was a landmark first Group winner for Hollie Doyle.
“She’s not had a hard season though, with only three runs so far, and after trips to Germany and France since her Newmarket win it’s nice that she won’t have to travel this time,” he said.
Frankie Dettori partnered Dame Malliot for owner Anthony Oppenheimer last time but it has yet to be decided if the Italian or Doyle takes the ride at Ascot.
Vaughan said: “We haven’t discussed it yet and I expect John Gosden will have a runner, but if Frankie doesn’t ride I expect Hollie will.”