Chriselliam Flies to Fillies' Mile Upset
Chriselliam charged past favorite Rizeena with a torrid outside rally from the back of the field and won the Shadwell Fillies' Mile (Eng-I) in a 28-1 upset Sept. 27 at Newmarket.
James Doyle brought Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) winner and 7-4 favorite Rizeena from midpack to the front in the final furlong, but she could not stave off the strong rally of fast-closing Chriselliam, who overtook her in the final 75 yards to win by a length.
Ihtimal finished third, two lengths behind Rizeena.
The winner and runner-up are both by Darley sire Iffraaj. They are from the fourth crop by the 12-year-old son of Zafonic. Chriselliam, a candidate for next year's One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), is her sire's 17th stakes winner.
Chriselliam was piloted by Richard Hughes and was timed in 1:40 in the race for 2-year-old fillies, earning her second win from five career starts and first in a stakes. In her only other previous victory, she set a track record at Warwick for about seven furlongs when covering the distance in 1:22.74 to break her maiden. She subsequently finished ninth in the Prix du Calvados (Fr-III) Aug. 17 at Deauville, and entered the Fillies' Mile off a close runner-up finish in a listed stakes Sept. 9 at Haydock.
The bay filly is trained by Charlie Hills for a partnership that includes former jockey Willie Carson. She was a £40,000 (US$64,288) purchase at last year's Tattersalls October yearling sale by SackvilleDonald bloodstock agency.
"We have loved her since the day she came into the yard," Hills told Racing Post. "She has such a big stride. Things haven't really gone right for her. We took her to Deauville and for whatever reason she ran flat. We were scratching our heads and then at Haydock she unfortunately went a little too soon. Since then she has been working great and I was looking forward to today."
Bred in Ireland by Ballylinch Stud, Chriselliam is out of the Danehill mare Danielli, a half sister to group I winners Eva's Request and Priory Belle. Chriselliam is a half sister to U.S. grade III-placed winner Janicellaine.
One race earlier on the card, South African champion Soft Falling Rain rebounded from his first career defeat last time out with a convincing victory in the Nayef Joel Stakes (Eng-II).
Ridden by Paul Hanagan for trainer Mike de Kock, the 4-year-old National Assembly colt chased longtime leader Glory Awaits from second and took charge more than a quarter-mile out. He shook clear of his six rivals late to win the one-mile race by 3 1/2 lengths as the 13-8 favorite.
With an untarnished record from his first seven starts, including the Etisalat Godolphin Mile (UAE-I) in March on the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) undercard, Soft Falling Rain met his first defeat Aug. 18 at Newbury after setting the pace in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes (Eng-II) and being headed by Gregorian in the final furlong.
He emphatically bounced back in the Joel for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum and will be pointed to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I), the mile finale of the QIPCO British Champions Series, which is set for Oct. 19 at Ascot.
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