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All-the-way success for Summer Romance in G2 Balanchine

Racenews

Summer Romanceinfo-icon bounced back to her best when making all for a comfortable victory in the nine-furlong G2 Balanchine on week five of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 18 February.

Last season’s G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner, wearing a hood for the first time after racing too freely behind Althiqa in the mile G2 Cape Verdi on week two of the Carnival, was immediately sent to the front of the 10 runners by James Doyle.

The Charlie Appleby-trained filly continued to travel powerfully in front and kicked for home over a furlong and a half out.

She never looked in any danger, coming home two and a quarter lengths clear of Stylistique, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Althiqa (William Buick) in third.

Charlie Appleby said: “It was a tough call for William Buick to choose between Summer Romance and Althiqa, because you really can’t split them at home. Summer Romance was too keen on the front end in the Cape Verdi, which didn’t give William much of a chance.

“We changed the dynamics slightly this evening. We tried to miss as much of the preliminaries as possible with her and we have also kept the hood on her in the race. Once she popped out and James got her into her rhythm, you could see that she was in a far better rhythm than in the Cape Verdi. She has lengthened to the line well.

“It would be lovely to try and get a G1 with Summer Romance and Althiqa. We will take them back to Europe now, give them a little break and then look at some summer targets.”

James Doyle added: “I think it is easy to forgive Summer Romance’s first run of the year in the Cape Verdi, when she was just a bit fresh. She is quite enthusiastic about the job and that run would have settled her down a bit.

“Charlie and the team decided to tinker with a few things in regard to the preliminaries – we mounted her in the pre-parade ring and headed out after all the other runners, which certainly helped. Charlie elected to leave the hood on for the race as well, which I think has also helped.

“I was gifted quite a nice lead and was pretty pleased after the first couple of furlongs. I was even afforded the luxury of racing away from the rail, just to help her switch off. I wasn’t going overly quick fractions, so I was pretty pleased when we got into the straight.

“This was the furthest she has run but she won nicely over eight and a half furlongs in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes and we didn’t go overly quick that day. I was pretty hopeful that she would hit the line well and she stuck to her guns well.”