Horses To Follow » Qemah


A lot of the talk after the Coronation Stakes concerned the second and third, Nemoralia and Alice Springs, but the winner Qemah did not have an ideal run through the race either, and she finished off her race really strongly. It is probable that she was the best filly in the race, and possibly by a fair way.

A little keen through the early stages of the race, and wider than ideal, she was second last of the 13 runners as they started to round the home turn. Moved between horses as they straightened up two and a half furlongs out, she made nice ground to the two-furlong pole and, when Gregory Benoist asked her to quicken on the run to the furlong pole, she picked up really impressively. Nemoralia ran on well and Alice Springs finished off her race strongly after negotiating her way around traffic, but Qemah ran all the way to the line, despite racing keenly off the strong pace. She was the best filly in the race on the ground on the day, no question, and the time of the race was really good, the fastest comparative time on a top class day’s racing and 0.02secs/furlong faster than Racing Post par.

Easy ground may be important to Qemah, but when she has it, she is obviously top class. Third behind Ballydoyle and Turret Rocks in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac last year as  juvenile, she won the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte on soft ground at Chantilly on her debut this season, before finishing third behind La Cressonniere and Nathrah in the French 1000 Guineas. Conditions were not ideal that day. The ground was good, so better than ideal, and the early pace was not overly strong, with the result that she was keen through the early stages of the race. With easy ground and a fast pace at which to run on Friday, she proved that she was better than she was able to show in the French Guineas.

She will be interesting now wherever she goes next. The Falmouth Stakes is the obvious target for her, but she may not get easy ground in July at Newmarket, and it may be that she will be seen to even better effect in the autumn when the ground is easy again. The QE2 at Ascot in October could be the ideal race for her, and she could be available at a decent price there, against the colts and against her elders, especially if she is beaten on fast ground in the interim.

17th June, 2016