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.”

Stradivarius puts Arc hopes to the test at ParisLongchamp

Stradivarius gets the opportunity to rubber-stamp his Arc claims in the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

John Gosden’s popular chestnut has dominated the staying scene over the past three seasons, with a hat-trick of wins in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and a record four Goodwood Cups meaning his status as a great of the division is already assured.

However, with Bjorn Nielsen keen on a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe this year, Stradivarius drops back in distance in a recognised trial for Europe’s premier middle-distance contest over the same course and distance.

“He’s sharpened up as a stronger, more powerful horse. He’s not what I call a big, one-paced staying type at all – he’s got a lot of speed this horse, so we’re looking forward to running him over a mile and a half,” said Gosden.

“He’s in good form and I’m very happy with him. He’s worked nicely.”

Stradivarius proved he is capable of mixing it at the top level over a mile and a half when third behind Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup earlier in the season.

Frankie Dettori is on board this weekend, but is expected to partner stable companion Enable in the Arc as she goes in search of a historic third victory in the race.

Gosden has admitted to tweaking Stradivarius’ training ahead of his first trip across the Channel.

He added: “We don’t know how the race will be run – these French trials can just be run from the head of the straight. We’ll leave it to Frankie, but we couldn’t be more pleased with the horse.

“We have trained him to sharpen him a bit, but he’s wanted to and let us do it. He has sharpened in his work, which was very much the plan, but we haven’t done anything dramatically different because he rather likes the way he’s been trained.”

Among the five horses taking on Stradivarius is Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck, who was second in the Coronation Cup before finishing only fifth when favourite for the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. Mickael Barzalona takes the ride.

The fillies get their chance to shine in the Prix Vermeille, for which Jean-Claude Rouget’s Raabihah is a hot favourite.

Dame Malliot lines up for the Prix Vermeille
Dame Malliot lines up for the Prix Vermeille (Francesca Altoft/PA)

Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa and the Ger Lyons-trained Irish Oaks winner Even So carry Irish hopes, while Ed Vaughan’s Dame Malliot and David Menuisier’s Wonderful Tonight represent Britain.

Dame Malliot impressed in the Group Two Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July before finishing third in a German Group One under Hollie Doyle. Dettori takes over in the saddle this weekend.

Vaughan said: “I’m delighted to have Frankie available to ride. He came and had a sit on her earlier in the week and I was very pleased.

“The filly seems in very good form. Hollie felt she didn’t handle the track that well in Germany and said the ground rode quite rough.

“They’re talking about good ground on Sunday, which will be fine, and a big, galloping track like Longchamp should suit.”