Rebel’s Romance dominates again in G1 Champions & Chater Cup


Globe-trotting star Rebel’s Romance registered his fifth top-level success with another commanding performance in the G1 Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday, 26 May.

The son of Dubawi travelled out to Hong Kong having already secured Group honours in five different countries, including a relentless display on his latest outing in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

Following a slightly slow break, Rebel’s Romance moved up around the field to settle in a clear second after the first quarter-mile, a length and a half behind Moments In Time.

Rebel’s Romance closed on Moments In Time in the straight and powered away from his rivals after hitting the front a furlong and a half from home. The Charlie Appleby-trained six-year-old crossed the line full of running under William Buick, finishing two lengths clear of a fast-finishing Five G Patch.

William Buick said: “Rebel’s Romance has done it really well. You always respect the local horses in Hong Kong and he had to travel over, so the team have done a great job. He looked magnificent beforehand, like he always does.

“The race went the way I hoped it would and it suited Rebel’s Romance, with an even gallop the whole way, and he kept building it up. He’s become a very uncomplicated horse and is a real international superstar.”

Charlie Appleby said: “I’d like to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club, [Chief Executive Officer] Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges and all the team here for the help and support since our arrival. I am delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and team Godolphin.

“Rebel’s Romance has been to America, Qatar, Dubai, Germany and now Hong Kong, which has always been on our bucket list. I am delighted we had the right horse to win a race here.

“We took Rebel’s Romance out to Dubai in the autumn of his two-year-old career to potentially work back from a UAE Derby. He did everything right and thankfully won a UAE Derby, but he unfortunately went very week as a three-year-old. We brought him back that winter and tried again on the dirt, but my record on the surface is not the best so I soon switched him to the turf.

“Since he has been on the turf, we haven’t looked back. We had a bit of a chequered season last year – he had a mishap in his preparation for the Sword Dancer Stakes and it took a little while to get his confidence back. It’s like any athlete – once their confidence is that high, you are going into every race confident they will be bang there.

“We brought Blue Point out to Hong Kong and it was a learning curve. It’s all about bringing the right horse to be competitive – we don’t just want to turn up on the day. We came here with Rebel’s Romance, who we felt we would be competitive with. Hopefully, we will be looking for the right horses to come back in the near future. It’s always a great experience to leave with a winner because it encourages you to come back.

“The whole concept of Godolphin was built on being an international stable and hopefully dining at the top tables, as we are today. Hong Kong is one of the pinnacles of racing and you need to have the right horse. Many people have tried with good horses that weren’t good enough, so it just shows the strength in depth of the racing here.”