Summer Romance sizzles in Empress success at Newmarket

Step up to seven furlongs likely to be next for Appleby starlet

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Summer Romance shot to prominence in the ante-post market on next year’s Qipco 1000 Guineas after maintaining her unbeaten record with an impressive success in the Randox Health Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

Having created a taking impression on her debut at Yarmouth, the Charlie Appleby-trained daughter of Kingman paid back another small slice of the 800,000 euros connections laid out for her when taking a step up in class in her stride for Listed honours.

Racing prominently throughout the six-furlong contest, the 5-6 favourite moved smoothly into the lead during the closing stages before being pushed out to score by six lengths, earning a quote of 10-1 for the opening fillies’ Classic with Paddy Power, Sky Bet and Coral.

Appleby said: “This is a filly that has plenty of scope about her and a wonderful pedigree, related to Rizeena, and stepping up in trip is only going to be her forte in time. I was pleased with the way she travelled through the race.

“I don’t want to sound too confident, but it was a straightforward mission for her in the end. She would have learnt a little bit on her first run, but she would have learnt more the week before when I worked her with the Royal Ascot fillies.

“I’ve spoken to His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) and I would like to give her a little more time and just wait for the seven-furlong races.

“It (Sweet Solera Stakes, back at Newmarket) is an option for her for sure. Stepping up to seven furlongs is the next logical step.”

Wells Farhh Go set up a return to Pattern-race company with victory on his long-awaited return from injury in the Randox Health Fred Archer Stakes.

Having sustained a stress fracture in the build up to last year’s St Leger, the Tim Easterby-trained four-year-old shrugged off an absence of 311 days as he demonstrated his ability remains intact with a decisive success in the Listed event.

With his three rivals treading water a long way from home in the mile-and-a-half prize, the 5-4 favourite, who claimed the Bahrain Trophy at this track last year, galloped on resolutely to defeat Walton Street by four lengths.

Alan Heley, joint-owner, said: “He has been off a long time and we just wanted to see him back on a racecourse to make sure we have a nice horse going forward.

“He has not had a hard race and we are pleased with it. The other two (Walton Street and Barsanti) were a bit of a fear in the market, but they were a long way off the bridle before we were under pressure.

“You could see the year before last when he won the Acomb it was softish and you can tell looking at his stride he would prefer a bit more cut in the ground.

“To win a Group Two or anything better everything has to be in your favour.

“Tim said the Princess of Wales’s might come a bit too quick, but we put him in that because you have to be in the race to run it. It’s an option and he has been at Newmarket twice and won twice. He likes the galloping straight course.

“The target is the Irish St Leger at the end of the year. We missed the English one so we will go for the other one.”

Al Dabaran (9-4) looked a potentially smart individual when completing doubles for both Appleby and James Doyle in clearing away smartly on his debut to take the Coates & Seely Blanc De Blancs Novice Stakes by two and a half lengths.

Appleby said: “We know he has got a pedigree that in time a trip will see further improvement. They went a good gallop and he laid up with them and saw it out well.

“We won’t see him for a little while now and put him away. We will go up to a mile on the next start.”

Summer Romance sizzles in Empress success at Newmarket
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