21 June 2017

Al Shaqab Racing’s Qemah imposed herself in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Gr2) at Royal Ascot, on Wednesday. The filly, very relaxed, waited amongst the group of horses that cantered along the inside rail. Once she got an opening, the Jean-Claude Rouget trained filly took quite easily the advantage 200 meters from the post. She then resisted to the attacks of Aljazzi on her outside and Smart Call and Usherette on the inside. She held in respect her rivals and succeeded by three quarters of a length in front of Aljazzi, second. Usherette, finished very well after not finding an opening and took an excellent third place.

Qemah had already signed a success last year at Royal Ascot since she won the Coronation Stakes (Gr1). Jockey of Qemah, the French Grégory Benoist said: “She won nicely here last year. Last time at Lingfield she wasn't very exciting but today the fast ground, the pace of the race helped her, and she was in a good day. She was ready for this race and we are very happy to win twice at Royal Ascot. Last time it was soft ground here, but she's raced on good ground in France, she can go anywhere.” Concerning trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, he said: “The lad at home, Jerome, had been doing strong work with her every day and he had been very happy that it was not the same filly that ran at Lingfield, there had been a big change. I hope now she’s in a good place for the rest of the season. After that we’ll go to Deauville for the Prix Rothschild.” Qemah won the Prix Rothschild (Gr1) in 2016.