Relief Rally forced to miss Cheveley Park assignment

By Sports Desk September 29, 2023

Relief Rally will miss the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday due to a bad scope.

The William Haggas-trained two-year-old has proven a real money spinner for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, better known for their National Hunt acquisitions.

After scoring at Windsor and Salisbury, Relief Rally went down by just a nose to Crimson Advocate in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before landing a valuable sales race at Newbury in a convincing manner.

Last time out, she took a step up in trip to six furlongs in her stride when beating Aidan O’Brien’s reopposing Cherry Blossom in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

A crack at Group One glory was next up, but will now have to wait. Munir wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Needless to say we are all very disappointed that Relief Rally scoped badly and is now a non-runner for the Cheveley Park Stakes tomorrow.”

Cherry Blossom has since done the value of the Lowther form no harm by picking up over €240,000 for finishing second of 23 in the Goffs Million at the Curragh, albeit beaten six lengths by One Look.

Soprano has performed consistently well in good company without quite adding to a debut success at this course.

George Boughey’s filly has been placed three times at Group Three level, in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Sweet Solera on the July course here and the Dick Poole at Salisbury, when having to recover from fluffing her start and getting detached early on.

On the decision to run in this contest rather than Friday’s Rockfel Stakes, Boughey said: “I think staying at six furlongs is right. She is a strong stayer over that trip and she loves the track.

“There can be a speed influence in the Rockfel, but it looked like there are some stouter pedigrees in the Rockfel this year and I didn’t want her getting outstayed over seven furlongs by taking on horses that will stay a mile. We wanted to use her stamina over shorter.

“It was a massive effort for her to finish third at Salisbury given how she started the race. I think if the race was 50 yards longer, she would have nearly been in front. She certainly deserves her place in the line-up on Saturday.”

Jasna’s Secret bids to follow in the footsteps of some illustrious past French victors such as Ma Biche, Ravinella, Special Duty, Natagora and most recently Vorda in 2013.

She was snapped up by the shrewd Wathnan Racing recruitment team after completing a Deauville double in a valuable sales race for Carlos and Yann Lerner last month, when comfortably accounting for two-time winner Zorken.

Albany winner Porta Fortuna returns to the UK for Donnacha O’Brien, having since been placed twice in Group One company at the Curragh.

The daughter of Caravaggio was second to Bucanero Fuerte in the Phoenix Stakes and dead-heated for third behind Fallen Angel in the Moyglare on Irish Champions Festival weekend.

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