Five-year-old Dark Angel mare Realtra, sent off at 6/1, defeated Evens favourite Muffri’ha by a neck in the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships over seven furlongs. There was a head back to the 5/2 third Ashadihan.
She ran on strongly under Andrea Atzeni to the delight of winning trainer Roger Varian, who had been mystified by the mare’s two disappointing runs in Dubai earlier this year. Realtra qualified for this race by winning a Fast-Track Qualifier at Deauville, France, in late December. Her time today was 1m 23.47s.
Varian said: “It is great to win here today. I did not have much confidence really as she ran terrible in Dubai and I could not, for the life of me, put my finger on why.
“I checked her out physically, she was fine, she was healthy, and so we went for the blinkers today. Whether it is solely that or being back home, I don’t know.
“She is good on her day and she came back to life today so I am delighted. We have used Andrea a lot for four or five seasons – he has a very good retainer and we are delighted to use him when he is available.
“She could come back to Lingfield, but on turf, for the G3 Chartwell Stakes. She is already a Group Three winner at Deauville but that was at three and any penalty will have dropped off. It would make sense to come back here and I think seven furlongs is her best trip.”
Winning jockey Andrea Atzeni said: “Realtra had done well two years ago. For some reason Realtra did not perform on her two starts in Dubai – she put in two disappointing performances – so it is great to put that behind her today.
“On return from Dubai, Roger [Varian] and I decided that we needed to change something and we put some blinkers on for the first time – it seems to have done the trick. We came off the bend, she organised herself, picked up well and she was then never going to let anything by her.
“We got caught a bit wide because I was drawn 12 and the pace was quite slow. I thought I would sit and suffer. She gets a mile and saw the trip out really well. It is great to win today. She is a good mare, can hopefully improve and we like her a lot.”
MUFFRI’HA MUFFS START
Evens favourite Muffri’ha came home a neck second to Realtra, who was drawn on the opposite side of the stalls in number 12 to Muffri’ha’s number one in the 32Red Fillies & Mares’ Championships.
This was to cost her the race according to Maureen Haggas, wife of the Iffraaj mares’ trainer, William.
She said: “Muffri’ha ran great but it went pear shaped. She didn’t jump – she can do that and is a funny old girl. If she had jumped a bit better she could have been a little bit closer. She only got beaten a neck.
“She made a good draw a bad draw, it really all went wrong for her after that, even though she ran a great race and stayed on really well.
“This is probably a furlong short of her best trip, I think she is better over a mile but she ran great.
“She has been busy as she has had a long autumn and a long winter. She has been third in a Group One in Dubai, beaten two necks, so in think we will get her home and see how she is.
“She looks great and seems happy.”
2.40pm £150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships, 7f
1 REALTRA (IRE) 5 9-00 Yasushi Kubota Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 6/1
2 MUFFRI’HA (IRE) 5 9-00 Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum William Haggas Pat Cosgrave Evens Fav
3 ASHADIHAN 4 9-00 T A Rahman Kevin Ryan Kevin Stott 5/2
11 ran Non-Runner: Yeah Baby Yeah
Time: 1m 23.47s
Distances: nk, 1
Tote Win: £7.20 Places: £2.30; £1.10; £1.30 Exacta: £16.10
Breeder: Tom & Geraldine Molan
Breeding: gr m Dark Angel (IRE) – Devious Diva (IRE) (Dr Devious (IRE))
Ashadihan wishes for more pace as Make Music makes a gutsy run
The trainer of third placed Ashadihan, Kevin Ryan, thought that she would have ran better had there been more pace. Jockey Kevin Stott believes that she will be able to bounce back from this race.
Ryan said: ”She ran well. Clean race with not much pace. It probably didn’t suit her that there wasn’t a strong pace, but she’s run well.”
Kevin Stott added: “She ran well, but she was a bit flat footed. She will be able to bounce back from that.”
Both trainer and jockey of fourth placed Make Music were pleased with the run, despite a bad draw.
Jockey David Probert said: “I’m delighted with the run. She’s a very gusty filly. We had a bad draw in stall 10. She was gutsy enough and she stuck to her guns and finished fourth.”
Trainer Andrew Balding added: “I’m very happy with the run. She’s obviously ran better than her mark. She’s great, she loves it round here, so we’re delighted.”