Godolphin's Goodwood romance continues

Charlie Appleby and William Buick team up for more success at the summer showpiece

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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William Buick rides Rebel's Romance to victory in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on Friday. — Godolphin website
William Buick rides Rebel's Romance to victory in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on Friday. — Godolphin website

Published: Fri 29 Jul 2022, 9:31 PM

Rebel's Romance, so impressive when winning the 2021 UAE Derby on dirt at Meydan, showed he can be just as good, if not better on turf when running out a willing winner of the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on Friday.

The four-year-old son of superstar stallion Dubawi, was continuing a profitable week for Dubai’s Godolphin stable and the trainer-jockey combination of Charlie Appleby and William Buick at the British summer showpiece.

It was only a second appearance for Rebel’s Romance on turf, following seven starts on the all-weather or dirt tracks.

Rebel’s Romance also maintained his supremacy over stable companion Kemari, who he beat for the second successive time in just over a month, having previously held the upper hand when the two Godolphin gallopers met in the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket.

At one point of time in Friday’s 2,400 contest, Kemari, ridden aggressively by Frankie Dettori from the front of the field, looked like he would avenge his Newmarket defeat, only to be reined in close to the line by his Moulton Paddocks stablemate.

Buick told Racing TV: “He has never been on a track like this. Full credit to him, he stays very well. They didn’t go overly quick, he has battling qualities and stays very well. He is a horse who should get further.

“It’s great to come to these festival meetings. It’s tough. Godolphin and Charlie Appleby have high expectations and nice horses to run in the right races, I’m privileged to ride them.”

Alex Merriam of Godolphin, representing an absent Charlie Appleby added: “I spoke to Charlie and he said today’s (Friday) race was the target. He has seen that out well, so there is the possibility of stepping up to a mile and six furlongs. We will let the dust settle and see how we go from there.

“Kemari won a Queen’s Vase last year, so he is a horse with plenty of ability. He got a nice lead in front and kept galloping away. Again, he might be one to step up in trip.”

Following his success on dirt last season, Rebel’s Romance was being primed for an American campaign with the Belmont Stakes, the middle leg of the American Triple Crown, a key target. However, an injury scuppered that plan and after a 300-day lay-off, he reappeared at Meydan when he won his second start in the high-class Curlin Stakes.

Meanwhile, Khaadem won the G2 King George Stakes over a straight five furlongs in the capable hands of Ryan Moore. The winner was a leading fancy in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last month but bolted from the starting stalls without his rider on the day.

Moore said: "He's showed he's a class sprinter already this year in the Palace House. It was the first time I sat on him and it wasn't my plan to sit back so far, but the pace was on either side of me.

"He usually doesn't need to hit the front too soon, but he's a very talented horse. To do it over five and six furlongs here shows that he's a lovely horse."

Trainer Charlie Hills' was making it a habit of winning the King George with successes in five of the last six runnings of the race thanks primarily to the outstanding four-time by the late Sheikh Hamdan’s star sprinter, Battaash, between 2017 and 2020.

The trainer said: "He took everything in his stride and the race unfolded perfectly for him. I'm made up. He always wears his heart on his sleeve."

This year’s Glorious Goodwood meeting culminates on Saturday with a rich seven-race card where the highlights are the G2 Lillie Langtry Stakes, a 2,800-metre contest, and the six-furlong Steward’s Cup.

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