Coronation Stakes hero Qemah was a brilliant winner again in France
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 3:23PM 31 JUL 2016
Report: France, Sunday
Deauville: Prix Rothschild (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+ f&m
QEMAH showed a quite superb turn of foot to stamp her authority over her rivals and provide trainer Jean-Claude Rouget with a first victory in this contest as he continues to enjoy a memorable season at home and abroad.
The eye-catching nature of the performance was not lost on Rouget either, who took the opportunity to compare his winner to recent star French fillies Goldikova and Moonlight Cloud, who both excelled on the straight course at Deauville.
“She is really good,” Rouget said. “We have seen other good fillies here in recent years like Goldikova and Moonlight Cloud and I think that she is up there in that kind of company.”
There was disappointment for the foreign challengers though, with Lumiere fading tamely after pulling too hard, Alice Springs finding little when asked to challenge and Amazing Maria only keeping on without ever looking threatening.
There had been some murmurings that Qemah had been fortunate to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last time with the soft ground and trouble-free passage being to her advantage, while the likes of Alice Springs had suffered.
Far too good
However, there was no doubt about her superiority this time as she travelled smoothly in the mid-division as her pacemaker Positive Vibration took the field into the final two furlongs.
Despite cantering all over his rivals Gregory Benoist did not unleash Qemah until he was ready, at which point she strode clear to take victory in style, with the well-backed Volta second and outsider Steip Amach picking up the pieces in third after several of the big guns failed to fire.
Victory for the Al Shaqab Racing-owned three-year-old provided her trainer Rouget with another big race success. As well as the Coronation Stakes, Rouget’s runners have won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane (both La Cressoniere), Prix Saint-Alary (Jemayel), Prix Jean Prat (Zelzal) and Prix du Jockey Club (Almanzor) this season.
Rouget added: “Today Qemah confirmed all of her quality. People said she didn’t handle a straight track but she was still quite immature in the Poule d’Essai and she benefited a lot from going to Ascot. Today she showed she is the best filly over a mile
“I’m not tempted [by the Jacques le Marois]. A filly like her gives everything and it will definitely be the Matron [Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10] next. “
Raiders blow their chances
While Qemah was supreme, her main market rivals were on the whole suspect. Alice Springs moved menacingly into contention as the runners reached the final two furlongs but quickly backed out of contention when Ryan Moore asked for an effort.
He said: “The ground was too bad for her.”
The good ground was unlikely to be an excuse for Lumiere, who compromised her chance by racing too freely in the hands of Joe Fanning after attempting to track the pacemaker. She rapidly weakened in the final furlong.
As for the last two winners, Amazing Maria lacked zip where it mattered at the end of the race, while Esoterique nodded badly when exiting the stalls and could only run on to be fourth.