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Rothschild challenge for Rosa Imperial and Crown Walk


Rosa Imperial and Crown Walk each go after a first G1 victory in the Prix Rothschild over the straight mile at Deauville, France, on Sunday, 29 July.

Five-year-old mare Rosa Imperial (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) finished fifth on dirt in the G2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan, UAE, in March and made an impressive comeback when the easy winner of the Listed Prix de la Calonne, run over the same course and distance as the Prix Rothschild, on 8 July.

The daughter of Pivotal was ninth in last year’s G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs at Deauville and started her career with three wins over shorter distances, including a length success in the six-furlong G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis at Maisons-Laffitte in June, 2017.

Three-year-old Dubawi filly Crown Walk (Henri-Alex Pantall/William Buick) has thrived since switching to France earlier this year, winning two of her three starts there including a game nose verdict in the G3 Prix Chloe over a nine furlongs at Chantilly on 9 July.

She was runner-up at the same course in the mile G2 Prix de Sandringham in June and readily won a mile conditions race at Saint-Cloud in May.

A field of 11 for the Prix Rothschild also features G1 Prix Saint-Alary second With You, Prix de Sandringham winner Mission Impassible and Aljazzi, successful in the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Crown Walk is drawn two, while Rosa Imperial emerges from stall seven. Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said: “Rosa Imperial is coming into this race following a good win over the course and distance.

“She is a very relaxed mare, with a great temperament and we are hopeful that she can step up to the mark.

“She acquitted herself well on her only previous G1 appearance in the Prix Maurice de Gheest all things considered. It was only her fourth start and she came back quite jarred up, which is why it took her a while to get going again.

“She is a mare that we have always thought a lot of, but there is no such thing as an easy G1 and this is far from a penalty kick for her. There are thunderstorms in the forecast and any rain would help.

“Crown Walk won a G3 on her latest start and was narrowly beaten in a G2 beforehand, so she has better recent form than Rosa Imperial.

“She is a progressive filly, who hasn’t stopped improving since transferring to France, and goes into this race in great order.

“She has a bit to find with one or two of her rivals, but we hope that she can continue her upward progression.”