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Oppenheimer hopes Dame Malliot can provide fairytale finale for Vaughan

Owner Anthony Oppenheimer will be delighted if Dame Malliot can give Ed Vaughan a fairytale send-off as a trainer in the UK with victory in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

The four-year-old has given Vaughan both his Group Two victories, and has finished third at the top level on her last two starts.

Her latest run in the Prix Vermeille has worked out well – with the fist two home, Tarnawa and Raabihah, franking the form at the Arc meeting at ParisLongchamp. Dame Malliot would have gone there, had the ground been better.

“I’m really hoping Dame Malliot can win, because it would be wonderful for Ed Vaughan,” said Oppenheimer, whose filly also gave Hollie Doyle with her first Group winner in the saddle, and her first Group One ride earlier in the season when third in Germany.

“Sadly, fairytales rarely come true – apart from in Walt Disney (movies) – but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

“We missed the race in France on Arc weekend because the ground was too heavy. She’s had a bit of a rest since her last run, which was very good, and she’s well and in good form.”

Oppenheimer has a second string on Saturday in the John Gosden-trained Frankly Darling, winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes over the course and distance and third in the Oaks.

“Frankly Darling probably isn’t quite as good, in my opinion, but these Frankels can do it on the big days,” he said.

“I’ll settle for either one of them winning.”

Wonderful Tonight was fifth in the Vermeille and showed she was still very much on the upgrade when opening her Group One account in the Prix de Royallieu on her return to France.

She is in such good form that trainer David Menuisier feel it is right to let her take her chance.

“I’m very pleased with her. She’s fine and has been giving us the right signals throughout,” said the Pulborough trainer.

“She did a good canter on Thursday morning on the bridle, and we were very pleased with her. It’s fingers crossed.

“In the grand scheme of things we don’t have anything to lose – and if she wasn’t feeling the way she is I would have been more than happy to pull the plug and turn her out for next year. But considering she’s like this, we felt we ought to give her a go.”

Aidan O’Brien believes Passion found the mile and three-quarters of the Royallieu too far when fifth behind Wonderful Tonight.

“Passion ran the day before the Arc – and the trip was probably plenty far for her, and the ground was plenty deep. She’s in good form and came out of the race very well,” he said.

“We think the mile and a half in Ascot will suit her, and she seems to handle an ease in the ground.”

The Ballydoyle handler also runs Laburnum, who was fourth in the Vermeille.

She will be ridden by James Doyle, who said: “We know how strong the Vermeille was this year, and she finished right on their heels.

“I’m not sure if she’d ideally want the ground like this, not many of them will, but we all know what these Galileos are like – they go on anything, don’t they.”

Ralph Beckett’s Antonia De Vega goes to Qipco British Champions Day at the top of her game after winning both her starts this season at Pontefract and Newmarket.

Beckett said: “She has come out of her Newmarket race in good shape, and the more juice in the ground on Saturday the better.

“It was her first run back off a break when she ran in the race last year (finished sixth), as she’d had a problem after she won the Johnny Lewis Memorial Stakes at Newbury.

“She’s a filly who normally comes forward for a run, and there had been three months between Pontefract and Newmarket this year, so I’m hoping she will come on.”

Beckett also runs Manuela De Vega. Ger Lyons’ Irish Oaks winner Even So, Roger Varian’s Gold Wand and Joseph O’Brien’s Thundering Nights are others in mix.

Vaughan has high hopes Dame Malliot can record fairytale win

Ed Vaughan believes Dame Malliot has a good chance of giving them both the perfect swansong in the Qipco Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

The four-year-old filly, owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, is likely to be retired after the Group One feature, while Vaughan announced in July he is relinquishing his licence after 16 years.

Dame Malliot – who is set to be ridden by Hollie Doyle – has given Vaughan a pair of Group Two victories and has finished third at the top level twice this term.

Her latest run, when third in the Prix Vermeille after setting the pace, has worked out well – with the winner, Tarnawa, and the placed horses, Raabihah and Wonderful Tonight, boosting the form on Arc weekend.

Dame Malliot comes home in front at Newmarket for a famous win under Hollie Doyle
Dame Malliot comes home in front at Newmarket for a famous win under Hollie Doyle (Steve Davies/PA)

“We were pleased to see the Vermeille form working out extremely well,” said Vaughan.

“David Menuisier’s filly (Wonderful Tonight) won the Prix Royallieu, which we were going to run in but we just decided we’d give her a little more time and wait for this one.

“I was pleased with her run in the Vermeille. She only got chinned on the line for second place, beaten a head by Raabihah who ran a great race in the Arc.

“I suppose when you’re making the running you’re always there to be shot at and it’s hard to make all, but she lost nothing in defeat.

“Hollie will ride her at the weekend, all being well.”

Vaughan reflected on Dame Malliot’s career, during which she has only run eight times but has been successful on four occasions.

“She’s been a wonderful servant. She started off at Wolverhampton in a median auction maiden and is running in a Group One in what looks like her last start,” the Newmarket handler told Sky Sports Racing.

“It’s been wonderful to be associated with a nice filly like her.

“As for her future, I don’t know. It’s up to the owner. I think it’s more likely she’ll be retired, I imagine.

“She’s done incredibly well. I’m sure the owner will want to start breeding from her next season.

“I’ve nothing nailed down yet. It doesn’t look I’ll be staying in England. I’ve a few things in the pipeline. I’ll take a bit of time off at the end of the month and go from there.”

Dame Malliot on target for Champions Day

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.

Ed Vaughan is looking to bow out on a high at Ascot
Ed Vaughan is looking to bow out on a high at Ascot (Edward Whitaker/PA)

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.”

Vaughan pleased with Malliot’s Vermeille run

Further top-level assignments await Dame Malliot following her fine effort in defeat in Sunday’s Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp.

After claiming Group Two honours under Hollie Doyle in Newmarket’s Princess of Wales’s Stakes in July, the daughter of Champs Elysees came close to providing both the record-breaking rider and trainer Ed Vaughan with a first Group One success when narrowly beaten in Germany.

Frankie Dettori took over in the saddle aboard the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned four-year-old in France – and after cutting out much of the running, Dame Malliot only gave best late on, finishing an honourable third behind Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa and odds-on favourite Raabihah.

Vaughan said: “I was very pleased – it was another good run from her.

“We were only beaten a short head for second. The winner was very impressive.”

Dame Malliot could either return to France on Arc weekend or run in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

“She’s in the fillies and mares race and also the Prix de Royallieu. We’ll see how she is over the next week and make a plan,” Vaughan added.

“It does get tougher for the older fillies at this time of year as they’re giving weight to the three-year-olds who are coming into form and getting stronger, but she deserves to run in those races now.”