Marquand: Relief Rally is right at home over six furlongs

Tom Marquand is backing Relief Rally to continue her excellent run of form in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket on Saturday.

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 is next up and Marquand is delighted to maintain their ever-present partnership.

“At Windsor, she showed bags of speed and seemed really straightforward and sharp,” said the jockey. “I was a big fan of her that day.

“She has taken big steps forward with each of her runs and she was unfortunate not to win at Ascot, but she has shown a high level of form on those festival meeting cards.

“I was really looking forward to riding her over six furlongs to be honest with you at York. Over five, you had to give her that chance to fill up and then she would really rocket home.

“I was keen to jump on her over six furlongs as I thought it would suit her so well and she proved us right.”

Cherry Blossom has since done the value of that 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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