Raffle takes Duchess of Cambridge Prize

Ascot winner adds Newmarket Group Two to her CV

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Royal Ascot heroine Raffle Prize followed up with an impressive display in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

A field of seven fillies went to post for the six-furlong Group Two, with Roger Varian’s Daahyeh all the rage as the 5-4 favourite as she aimed to supplement her Royal Ascot triumph in the Albany Stakes.

Raffle Prize had run out a surprise winner of the Queen Mary in Berkshire last month and was a 9-2 chance to strike for trainer Mark Johnston – who saddled the brilliant Attraction to claim this prize in 2003.

With Frankie Dettori in the saddle, the Middleham raider was sent straight to the front and gradually raised the tempo.

Daahyeh did her best to close the gap, but Raffle Prize was not for catching and was ultimately well on top as she passed the post a length and three-quarters to the good.

Daahyeh and Raffle Prize had finished first and second on their respective racecourse debuts at Newmarket in May and Johnston was thrilled to see his filly emphatically reverse the form.

Johnston said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Stepping up to six (furlongs) was a little bit of a question mark and obviously the second horse beat her before first time out and was the talk of the town.

“Our filly showed fantastic speed that day and got tired. She had every right to have come on from that. We couldn’t expect to turn the tables, but hoped to turn the tables.

“She clearly looks better over the six. Frankie said she has improved and is better over the six.”

Considering future plans, the trainer added: “Frankie said go for the Lowther or the Morny. That will be up to the owner, but she has won two Group Twos and I think we have got to have a shot at the Group One (Prix Morny) next.”

Varian said of Daahyeh: “She ran a good race. We are always disappointed when they don’t win, but she ran a good race.

“Full credit to the winner as she has probably improved since we beat her in May. We could never quite make up the ground, but I thought David (Egan) gave her a good ride.

“The fillies in front of her didn’t quite take us to the winner, so we have had to go wide into the middle of the track and she could never make up the ground.

“She finished off well and shaped as though she might get a furlong further. I don’t think she has harmed her reputation and she remains an exciting prospect.

“We will make sure she is OK. She has got all the options. There is not really much at Goodwood for her. ”

Final Song was a close-up third, with Irish raider Celtic Beauty finishing a disappointing last of seven.

Raffle takes Duchess of Cambridge Prize
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