01/05/2017 2:40PM

2016 Eclipse Awards: Queen's Trust

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Emily Shields
Queen's Trust wins the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

The fillies and mares that Eclipse Award finalist Queen’s Trust faced on both sides of the Atlantic in 2016 read like a who’s who of international racing.

The British-born filly, who races as a homebred for Patricia and David Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud, finished second in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood to the brilliant Minding. Minding won five Group 1 events in 2016 to earn the Cartier Award as Europe’s Horse of the Year. Less than three weeks later, Queen’s Trust checked in third in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, bested only by Irish Oaks winner Seventh Heaven and champion Found, winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf and 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and a Cartier Award champion both seasons.

Queen’s Trust finished third to Journey and Speedy Boarding in the Group 1 British Champions Fillies and Mares at Ascot, setting the blaze-faced filly up for her trip to Santa Anita to contest the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf just three weeks later. The full field of 13 would include a rematch with Seventh Heaven; once-beaten Grade 1 winner Lady Eli, already with a Breeders’ Cup victory under her belt; reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse, winner of the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks; Japanese Oaks winner Nuovo Record; Chilean Group 1 winner Kitcat; Ryans Charm, champion grass mare in Peru; and North American Grade 1 winners Al’s Gal, Avenge, Sea Calisi, and Sentiero Italia.

:: Eclipse Awards: 2016 finalists with profiles

The Thompsons had not planned on sending their filly overseas, but despite the depth of the Filly and Mare Turf field, trainer Michael Stoute had been aggressive in persuading them that Queen’s Trust belonged in that lineup.

“She’d run a great race in the Nassau behind Minding,” Stoute said. “She had every chance that day, she just wasn’t quite good enough. But it was an excellent performance. I looked at what was going to be lining up [at the Breeders’ Cup]. She hadn’t had a tough season. She was unfortunate, again, in her final start in England. Came through it well, and I thought, ‘I really would like to have a crack at this Filly-Mare Turf.’ But I needed to persuade [the Thompsons], and I wasn’t optimistic about it, because I knew their stand. But fortunately they came up with an affirmative, and thank God they did.”

Queen’s Trust raced in 10th down the backstretch at Santa Anita, and emerged from behind horses at the three-sixteenths pole to unleash a furious late rally. She collared favored Lady Eli in the final strides to win by a nose.

Queen’s Trust is expected to return to the races in 2017.