Rebel’s Romance, winner of the United Arab Emirates Derby last year, can he find his best level on the grass? | Horse racing news
RDC & Mathea Kelley
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Rebel’s Romance: makes its grass debut
RDC & Mathea Kelley
Saturday: 2:40 p.m. Newmarket
House Of Cavani Menswear Fred Archer Stakes (Rated) | 1m4f | 4yrs+ | TVI/RTV
As the Godolphin families go, they don’t get much better than the one Rebel’s Romance represents. He is by owner supersire Dubawi and his dam is Minidress, who won a Newmarket maiden on her debut and finished second at the Height Of Fashion at Goodwood.
Minidress’s dam and Rebel’s Romance grandmother is Short Skirt, who won the Musidora at York and St Simon at Newbury in 2006, before joining Godolphin and winning the Listed Multiple Stakes at this course for Saeed bin Suroor the Next year.
Rebel’s Romance will not produce any offspring as he is already neutered and still has a lot to prove. He was beaten by a combined 52 lengths in two starts after a long break at Meydan over the winter and is yet to compete on grass in seven outings.
However, he is a class apart on his best dirt form as he earned a running grade of 117 when landing the UAE Derby at Meydan last year, and he must be showing signs of return of his old spark at home. Otherwise, why would William Buick choose it over Kemari?
He’s obviously bred to be as good, if not better, on grass and that’s a golden opportunity.
Buick has ridden Kemari in six of its eight starts and James Doyle is riding the four-year-old for the first time. There is a bit of symmetry between his pedigree and that of Rebel’s Romance as Kemari is a Dubawi colt and his dam, Koora, was also a St Simon Stakes winner.
David Simcock has won it three times out of five runners in the last ten seasons and that includes once with his representative here, Universal Order, who succeeded in 2020. He missed last year, but looked too good as ever when he was second in a Haydock handicap last month.
Race analysis by Graeme Rodway
What they say
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Kemari and Rebel’s Romance
Rebel’s Romance homework was very good and we took him for a nice racetrack gallop. It’s a bit of a fact-finding mission. Kemari came out of his recent York race in good shape and coming back to a mile and a half is something we’ve been talking about for some time.
Thady Gosden, co-trainer of Stowell
He raced well late at Royal Ascot and came out in good shape. The race should suit him.
David Simcock, Universal Order trainer
We thought that was a better option for him than going to the Duke of Edinburgh with a big weight. The tight field will suit him and I hope he will be very competitive.
Reporting by James Stevens
Previews of Saturday’s race:
2.25 Newcastle: “That was always the plan” – quotes and analysis for the Chipchase Stakes
3.05 Curragh: ‘He’s even better than before Norfolk’ – Crispy Cat demands compensation from Ascot
3.15 Newmarket: James Doyle replaces Frankie Dettori as Sunray Major chase Group 3 prize
3.30 Newcastle: Can Trueshan overcome a tricky draw and heavy weight to become a Plate legend?
3.45 Curragh: Colin Keane and Aidan O’Brien on Irish Derby hope Westover and Tuesday
4.20 Curragh: classic hero Mac Swiney to fend off young brigade in International Stakes
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 4:00 PM, JUNE 24, 2022