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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Billesdon Brook lands Sean Levey his first Group 1 victory at English 1000 Guineas

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby content with the showings of his two fillies, Wild Illusion and Soliloquy, who finished fourth and sixth respectively.

Sean Levey and Billesdon Brook, left, races to victory in the 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Sean Levey and Billesdon Brook, left, races to victory in the 1000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

Billesdon Brook provided jockey Sean Levey his first Group 1 success after landing the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Billesdon Brook went into the race after being beaten by more than five lengths by Godolphin’s Soliloquy in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes. But the chestnut filly by Champs Elysees left that form behind to comfortably defeat a quality field.

“It's a massive shock to be honest,” Levey said in the post-race interview. “When she ran in the Nell Gwyn she was a little bit gassy, but that was her first run and I thought she ran well to finish fourth.

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“She had a lot to find with a lot of them but she was settled throughout and then found a turn of foot. I kicked on fully two furlongs out, which I thought might be a bit early, but I didn't want to disappoint her.

“I've had plenty of winners and opportunities but I've always needed that Group 1, so I'm delighted.”

Levy held Billesdon Brook at the rear before progressing from 400 metres out to challenge. They took up the running from 200m and went clear to win by one and three-quarter lengths from Laurens under PJ McDonald.

Aidan O’Brien’s Happy, ridden by Ryan Moore, came in third while the Godolphin pair Wild Illusion, with James Doyle aboard, and Soliloquy, ridden by William Buick, finished fourth and sixth respectively.

“This is great. I knew she'd win,” said winning trainer Richard Hannon. “All of our Guineas winners have needed their first run - they tend to get beat in their trials. I'm just delighted for everybody at the yard and delighted for Sean.”

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby said his two fillies – Wild Illusion and Soliloquy – both ran well in defeat.

“Wild Illusion got a bit tired in the last 100m and Soliloquy is still learning,” he said. “I’m quite pleased with their efforts. They ran well and galloped to the line.”

Appleby, like on Saturday’s 2000 Guineas day where he saddled four winners, again drew some consolation when Wuheida ran out an impressive winner of the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes.

“That was like a piece of work up at the Limekilns [stables] for her, and that's a great starting point for the season,” said Appleby of Wuheida, who also won the Group 1 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare on Turf in the United States last November.

“We weren't going to come here originally but these good horses bring themselves forward and she's done well for wintering in Dubai.

“As she was only 80 per cent fit, that stands her in good stead for a good year. We may stay close to home with her after that instead of taking her back to the US.”