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English Rose blossoms in G2 Balanchine


English Rose improved on a highly promising Meydan debut as she comfortably beat Sapphire Seas to post a first Group-race win in the G2 Balanchine on Friday, 23 February.

Beaten a neck by Silver Lady in January’s G2 Cape Verdi, English Rose soon settled in a clear fourth behind Stenton Glider, Shining Jewel and Sapphire Seas in the nine-furlong turf feature for fillies and mares.

Shining Jewel moved up to briefly lead passing the two-furlong pole as Sapphire Seas and English Rose were both angled out to deliver their challenges.

English Rose and Sapphire Seas went on approaching the final furlong, with English Rose soon asserting to score by a comfortable two and a half lengths under Mickael Barzalona.

Charlie Appleby, who trains both fillies, said: “English Rose has done all the natural stuff in terms of coming forward from the Cape Verdi, but mentally she has improved as well. She was a bit keen in the Cape Verdi, whereas tonight Mickael got her well settled.

“To be fair to Sapphire Seas, she has travelled into the race and then got a bit tired. She probably wants stepping up in trip, whereas this is probably the ideal trip for English Rose with a run under her belt.

“We have not firmed up a plan for these fillies, although a mile and a half will probably be the next step for Sapphire Seas. Silver Lady, who beat English Rose in the Cape Verdi, is back in the UK and the plan is to ship her out to America in April for the G1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland’s spring meeting. English Rose could join her but nothing is set in stone.”

Mickael Barzalona said: “We went a good gallop from the start and English Rose travelled very well. Everything went pretty well for us. Sapphire Seas was just in front of us, we both had our chance and I think my filly deserved to win. My filly was fitter today and the stronger pace helped her.”