No Breeders’ Cup challenge for Blue Rose Cen

There will be no Breeders’ Cup for Blue Rose Cen following her dazzling triumph in the Prix de l’Opera – but Christopher Head’s star filly will stay in training as a four-year-old.

The daughter of Churchill has led her handler’s charge to the upper echelons of the training ranks in France and having provided Head with a first Group One success in the Marcel Boussac last year, has gone on to become one of the leading fillies of her generation.

She became a dual Classic winner earlier in the spring when following up her ready Poule d’Essai des Pouliches victory with a breathtaking display in the Prix de Diane and although defeats followed both on the road at Goodwood and when tried over a mile and a half in the Prix Vermeille, she roared back to her best on Arc day to secure her third Group One of the campaign.

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A trip to Santa Anita had been mooted as a possible finale for her season, but Blue Rose Cen will now enjoy a well-deserved break, with her trainer delighted owners Yeguada Centurion SL have decided she will race on next year.

“We have finished for the season with Blue Rose Cen, she has been sent for vacation and she will be coming back to the stables ahead of next season,” said Head.

“It’s brilliant and delightful to have her at four and I’m sure the next stage of her career at four will be very interesting.

“She has had a very good season and everything was perfect. We tried Goodwood and we tried her over a longer distance and we are now pretty much aware of what she is capable of doing, so next year I think we will have a very nice season. We have a very nice programme for her with some races in England, too.”

Blue Rose Cen claimed the Prix de l'Opera on Arc day
Blue Rose Cen claimed the Prix de l’Opera on Arc day (PA)

Having won four of her six big-race assignments this term Head can look back in pride at some of the her phenomenal achievements, including a four-length demolition in the French Oaks and proving her doubters wrong following two defeats at ParisLongchamp in the Opera.

Head added: “Of course the Prix de Diane was just enormous. What she did into the Prix de Diane was incredible as well and of course seeing her back in the Prix de l’Opera was brilliant too, as everyone was saying she had had a hard season and she showed that it was not finished for her.”

Meanwhile, Blue Rose Cen’s stablemate Big Rock is fully on course to try to break his duck at the highest level in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Qipco British Champions Day.

Christopher Head trains both Blue Rose Cen and Big Rock
Christopher Head trains both Blue Rose Cen and Big Rock (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Rock Of Gibraltar colt, who also carries the colours of Yeguada Centurion SL, has been hitting the crossbar in a plethora of Group One assignments since handing Champion Stakes favourite Horizon Dore a five-length beating earlier in the season and Head is eager to see him gain a deserved first top-level success.

“Big Rock is a really brilliant horse and has been brilliant all season,” he continued.

“He has been beaten by some good horses throughout the season and I’m a bit sad to see him not win a Group One yet.

“We are looking forward to the QEII to try to win his first Group One.”

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