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Rebel’s Romance stars in Qatar with G3 H H The Amir Trophy success


Rebel’s Romance added another major international prize to his CV with a decisive victory in the G3 H H The Amir Trophy at Al Rayyan racecourse in Qatar on Saturday, 17 February.

The son of Dubawi stormed home from off the pace when securing a hat-trick of G1 wins in Germany and the United States in 2022, but raced prominently this time and was sent on into a length and a half advantage after the first three furlongs.

Rebel’s Romance continued to enjoy himself in front and appeared to have most of his rivals in trouble when William Buick kicked for home at the top of the straight.

Zeffiro attempted to challenge a furlong and a half out but veered across the track soon after, while fellow Japanese raiders North Bridge and Satono Glanz also tried in vain to close on the Charlie Appleby-trained six-year-old.

Rebel’s Romance powered further clear inside the final furlong, hitting the line three lengths clear of Zeffiro.

Charlie Appleby said: “We were delighted with Rebel’s Romance. It was a great ride by William, and we felt the horse was back to his best heading here following a confidence-boosting win at Kempton Park.

“This is an event that is growing with importance every year and the strength of today’s field showed how its status is increasing on the international stage. We are very proud to be able to support these big races on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and team Godolphin.

“I would imagine that we will look towards the Dubai Sheema Classic for Rebel’s Romance, and then possibly head back out to America for the summer.”

William Buick added: “Rebel’s Romance really enjoy today. It wasn’t Plan A to make the running, but Charlie was very keen to go forward from stall 10 and he relaxed lovely in front. It wasn’t that long ago that he won a Breeders’ Cup Turf and he is somewhere near back to his best.

“It’s great to come to Qatar and ride a winner. This is a big festival and I am absolutely delighted. It was a good race, with Japanese, Irish, and English horses, so Rebel’s Romance had to be near his best and I’m pretty sure he was.”

Godolphin’s two other runners on the same card also ran well, with Real World finishing strongly after a sluggish start to take third in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cup, a local G2 race over a mile.

His trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “It was nice to see Real World produce a good performance and the plan now is to head to Bahrain for the Listed Al Methaq Mile next month.”

Mischief Magic made good late headway to fill the same position for Charlie Appleby in the local G3 Dukhan Sprint, with the 2022 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint hero now set for a return to North America.

Charlie Appleby said: “Mischief Magic ran a solid enough race. It’s a tight track with a short run-in, and he lost his place slightly turning in before doing his best work in the final furlong.

“We will probably travel out to America for the summer as we know he likes the tracks and style of racing out there.”