Qemah scored at Royal Ascot for the second year running when an authoritative winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes. Check out our race report, reaction from connections and free video replay.
1st Qemah 5/2F
2nd Aljazzi 40/1
3rd Usherette 11/4
Qemah scored at Royal Ascot for the second year running when an authoritative winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
The winner of the Coronation Stakes at the same meeting 12 months ago, Qemah returned to Royal Ascot to plunder another prize as she took the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes under Gregory Benoist.
Sent off the 5/2 favourite, Qemah enjoyed a clear passage in the main body of the field towards the stands' rail and got the better of Aljazzi after a brief skirmish just inside the final furlong.
The unlucky horse in the race was Usherette, the winner of the same race last year, who was ridden more patiently and did not get the gaps when Mickael Barzalona needed them. She made rapid gains once out in the clear and closed quickly on the front two close home, only narrowly failing to snatch second place.
Jean-Claude Rouget: "We do strong work with her every day as she is a bit delic ate, but I was happy to see her before the race today because she looked a different filly from Lingfield last time - there was a big change in her.
"I hope now that she will continue to improve for the rest of the season. She will now go to Deauville for the Prix Rothschild and then certainly the Matron Stakes after that."
Harry Herbert, racing manager to the winning owners Al Shaqab Racing: "I thought that physically looking at her in the pre-parade ring, she looked as well as I have ever seen her. She's always been a very good filly, but she did it well today. When Gregory pushed the button, she really quickened, and she stuck at it well to the line.
"I think the Deauville could be next for her. That's certainly a race that the trainer mentioned quite early in dispatches this year."
Gregory Benoist: "She ran like he did last year - she was very quiet before the race whereas last time at Lingfield she was excited first time out.
"Today, with the good ground and the pace in the race, she was ready. We are very happy to win two times at Royal Ascot with Qemah."
Marco Botti, trainer of Aljazzi: "I am delighted. I actually thought dropping back to a mile would be her best trip. She likes the ground and tries very hard.
"It's great that she has got some black type. We try to achieve as much black type as we can so we might aim for something in America, like the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington in August.
"She wants a bit of time between her races so we aren't in a rush to do anything."