French-trained filly Different League caused a shock with victory in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Check out our race report, reaction from connections and free video replay.
1430 Royal Ascot - Albany Stakes result
1st Different League 20/1
2nd Alpha Centauri 2/1 fav
3rd Take Me With You 20/1
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Little-known French-trained filly Different League landed a surprise success in the Group Two Albany Stakes, the opening race on day four at Royal Ascot.
A winner of both her races in the French provinces in May, she entered the Ascot picture under the radar as a 100/1 outsider at the start of the week, although significant each-way support for Matthieu Palussiere's daughter of Dabirsim saw her return at an SP of just 20/1.
Jockey Antoine Hamelin grabbed the bull by the horns and took up a prominent role in the larger group towards the far side rail and despite being pressed by Jessica Harrington's 2/1 favourite Alpha Centauri inside the final furlong, the winner found plenty for pressure and galloped to a neck victory.
The Jeremy Noseda-trained Take Me With You (20/1) ran on well towards the stands side for third and 66/1 chance Mistress Of Venice was fourth for James Given and Jim Crowley.
Winning trainer Matthieu Palussiere: "It was amazing. She has an amazing temperament and when she won her last race we thought she was pretty special.
"Her first run was purely educational but she did it very well. We got a bit excited after that and she won her second start. It was only in the provinces which might mean little over here but it was the manner in which she did it.
"She's a well-built filly. After her second win we thought we'd chance it here and we're not sorry we did. Our jockey knows our horses and we left plans up to him, he rides with great feeling and the draw is the draw.
"Good horses go on any ground and I think that is what she is. She has many options and we've got a few little ideas behind our head and we'll let you know in time where she goes."
Antoine Hamelin: "It was a very good performance, this is a great feeling. I love this filly.
"It's amazing, I'm really happy to be here, this is great for me but it's great for everyone back home at the yard. A first winner at Royal Ascot is a dream for me."
Jessica Harrington, trainer of the beaten market leader, said: "Colm (O'Donoghue) said when they quickened, the winner got a length on our horse and we were gaining all the way to the line.
"Probably the fact she had won her first two races easily it was the first time she had to get down and race. We knew it was going to be a big step up, but she didn't disgrace herself and that's the main thing. She'll definitely stay further, seven furlongs will suit her very well.
"I'd say she'll probably wait and go straight to the Moyglare."
Jeremy Noseda, trainer of Take Me With You, was not happy with the watering of the course, saying: "The watering has changed the track and changed the results. It's not natural and I don't know what's going on. The watering is not creating fair racing. We want a fair crack of the whip.
"The way they have watered this track has not created a fair paying field."
James Given said of the fourth home Mistress Of Venice: "Beforehand I couldn't understand why she was 66/1. She has come into this race with Listed form. She's run an absolute blinder. She's taken the Marygate form forward. I think we'll try to win a maiden, then we can think of races like the Lowther."