2016 Royal Ascot: Quiet Reflection wins King Edward VII stakes

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer  |  Updated June 17, 2016 at 3:44 PM
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Quiet Reflection posted her fifth straight victory in the Commonwealth Cup and Across the Stars provided Sir Michael Stoute with his 74th Royal Ascot winner while posting a mild upset in the King Edward VII Stakes on the fourth day of Royal Ascot.

Quiet Reflection, a Showcasing filly, raced in midfield through the early stages of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-olds. She moved up as requested by jockey Kevin Burke and scored by 1 length. The runner-up, Kachy, led midway through the 6 furlongs, then hung badly to the left and was near the stands-side rail as Quiet Reflection got by him nearing the finish. Washington DC finished third, 1/2 length farther in arrears. Quiet Reflection, trained by Karl Burke and ridden by Dougie Costello, ran 6 furlongs on the good-to-soft ground in 1:14.50.

"Quiet Reflection is a very good filly," said Burke, who is part of a 10-member ownership syndicate. "It was not the plan to be stuck in the middle like that and I was praying we didn't get a rough race. When she comes through she has a great turn of foot and it has got her out of trouble again today."

Across the Stars worked past pacesetting favorite Beacon Rock with more than a furlong to run in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes for 3-year-olds and pulled away, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over that foe. Muntahaa finished third. Across the Stars, a Sea the Stars colt trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was coming off a 10th-place finish in the Derby. That is his only finish outside the top three in six starts.

Sir Michael said he took Across the Stars to Epsom at the request of the owner, even though, "I didn't think Epsom would suit him. And it didn't.

"This track suited him a lot better. He's a big long striding horse who is still a little impetuous. He has plenty of growing up to physically and mentally. I think he has a future."

The immediate future, he said, will include a brief respite and a rethink of the colt's distance limits.

In the co-featured Group 2 Coronation Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Qemah worked to the lead inside the final furlong and edged clear, winning by 1 3/4 lengths from Nemoralia. Alice Springs finished third and the favorite, Jet Setting, finished in a dead-heat for sixth.

Qemah, a French-based daughter of Danehill Dancer, waltzed home in 1:40.56 with Gregory Benoist in the irons for trainer Jean Claude Rouget. She now has three wins, a second and two thirds from six starts. One of those thirds was in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1,000 Guineas at Deauville.

"I was very confident after the French Guineas for this race because I prefer Qemah to run with a turn," Rouget said. "She is a top-class filly and won the Prix de la Grotte very easily. She was very nervous in Deauville and didn't run the race she had to. Today she was good in the race and won easily."

Harry Herbert, advisor to owner Sheik Johan Althani's Al Shaqab Racing, said Qemah's next race is undecided although she is entered for the Group 1 Falmouth at Newmarket next month. That would pit her against older rivals.

Brave Anna lived up to her name in the closing strides of the Group 3 Albany Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. After an awkward start in the 6-furlongs race, the American-bred War Front filly raced toward the rear of the field, advanced to the lead inside the furlong marker and held off Blechley by a short head. Queen Kindly was only another 1/2 length back in third. American runner Create a Dream raced by herself on the stands side of the course under Frankie Dettori and finished another 1/2 length back in fourth. Brave Anna, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, now is 2-for-3 for trainer Aidan O'Brien. Heffernan and Blechley's rider, Oisin Murphy, both were handed suspensions after the race for excessive use of their whips.

In other action on the penultimate day of the Royal meeting:

Kinema came from off the pace to take the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths from Elite Army after exchanging bumps with that one in the final 50 yards. Kinema is a 5-year-old Galileo gelding, trained by Ralph Beckett. He finished 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.59.

Sword Fighter gamely led throughout the 2-miles Queen's Vase and held on at the end to win by 3/4 length from Harbor Law with Twilight Payment third, adding another victory to trainer Aidan O'Brien's illustrious record. {i: Looking ahead:}

Things wrap up on Saturday with the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at 6 furlongs and the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at 1 1/2 miles.

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