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Resurgent Rebel’s Romance continues to astound in Qatar


Rebel’s Romance demonstrated his versatility as he made most of the running to post a commanding victory in the G3 H H The Amir Trophy in Qatar on Saturday.

Renowned for his impressive turn of foot, the son of Dubawi had predominantly been held up throughout his career but dictated from the front this time to beat a deep field of international runners.

It was an eighth Stakes success for Rebel’s Romance, who has built up a remarkable profile since beating subsequent G1 winners Anmaat and Bay Bridge on the all-weather as a juvenile.

After capturing the 2022 G2 UAE Derby, Rebel’s Romance missed that season’s Belmont Stakes – won by Essential Quality – with a leg infection before re-establishing himself as an outstanding middle-distance horse on turf.

He rattled off five straight wins during the second half of 2022, posting top-level wins in Germany before lowering the course record at Keeneland with a scintillating win in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Rebel’s Romance is now likely to return to Dubai for a crack at the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic. Dubai World Cup Night could be a big day for the family, with his half-brother Measured Time, successful in last month’s G1 Jebel Hatta, being aimed at the G1 Dubai Turf.

Tarifa made an impressive Stakes debut at Fair Grounds on Saturday as she captured the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Pretty Mischievous took the same race last year before winning the Kentucky Oaks and Tarifa will be hoping to further emulate the three-time G1 scorer on the first Friday in May.

A significant upcoming week sees Japan’s Champion Dirt Horse of 2023, Lemon Pop, make his seasonal return in the G1 Saudi Cup on Saturday. G2 Al Fahidi Fort winner Mysterious Night is on course to run in the G2 1351 Turf Sprint on the same card.

Recent G2 Rubiton Stakes scorer Kallos and Aft Cabin remain in contention for the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on the same day, a fixture that is also set to feature Traffic Warden in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes.

The Dubai Racing Carnival continues on Friday and Godolphin will be strongly represented in all three of the evening’s Pattern races on the turf, with G1 Jebel Hatta runner-up Ottoman Fleet, top stayer Siskany and progressive filly Sapphire Seas heading a powerful team.

Southwell hosts the first Group race of the year in the UK, the G3 Winter Derby, on Saturday – a race in which Military Order is due to take on three-time G1 Dubai Turf victor Lord North.