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Rebel’s Romance charms his way to another G1 in Breeders’ Cup Turf


Rebel's Romance stretched his perfect record on grass to five and completed a G1 hat-trick with a resounding victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland on Saturday, 5 November.

Last season’s G2 UAE Derby scorer, who was scratched from the 2021 Belmont Stakes with a leg infection, had enjoyed a renaissance on turf this season and returned to the United States following G1 wins in the Grosser Preis von Berlin and Preis von Europa.

Rebel’s Romance was switched off towards the rear in 10th by James Doyle before taking slightly closer order as the majority of the field bunched down the back straight.

The Charlie Appleby-trained son of Dubawi swept wide with Mishriff at the top of the home stretch and unleashed a storming run towards the centre of the course, powering into the lead with a furlong to race.

He readily went clear in the closing stages, hitting the line two and a quarter lengths clear of Stone Age in the 12-furlong contest, won previously by Fantastic Light, Talismanic and Yibir.

Charlie Appleby said: “I am delighted to finish the meeting off with a winner. From the whole team’s point of view, it’s great to have James [Doyle] get a first Breeders’ Cup win and I’m delighted for him. It’s been a great meeting.

“Rebel’s Romance has turned himself around, to be fair. You may think it was the switch to the turf, but I watched him train on the dirt here and almost wished I was running him on the dirt here. Physically, you can just see that time has helped him. I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but it’s another son of Dubawi—what more can I say? I’m privileged to be associated with them.”

James Doyle said: “It was a tremendous performance from Rebel’s Romance and being back on fast ground suited him. He can be a quirky horse in the preliminaries, but he was good today. He was very relaxed and having the pony helped. The guys who look after him – obviously Charlie – but also Rob Fitzpatrick who rides him out every day, they have once again done a great job.

“Rebel’s Romance has won two G1s in Germany and it’s not easy there – they have some good horses. He has run against the best horses they have, so it’s proved there is plenty of strength in those races.”