Albany joy for Different

French challenger Different League claimed top honours in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

Despite having won both of her previous two starts, Matthieu Palussiere’s filly was a 20-1 shot for the opening race on day four of the meeting in the hands of Antoine Hamelin.

The daughter of Dabirsim made a smart start and was soon leading the group that raced on the far side of the track.

Alpha Centauri, the 2-1 favourite, did her best to make inroads in the final furlong, but Different League never looked in real danger of being caught and passed the post a neck to the good.

Take Me With You fared best of those that raced on the stands side in third.

Hamelin said: “It was a very good performance, this is a great feeling. I love this filly. It’s amazing, I’m really happy to be here, this is great for me but it’s great for everyone back home at the yard. A first winner at Royal Ascot is a dream for me.”

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Palussiere said: “It was amazing. She has an amazing temperament and when she won her last race we thought she was pretty special.

“Her first run was purely educational but she did it very well. We got a bit excited after that and she won her second start. It was only in the provinces which might mean little over here but it was the manner in which she did it.

“She’s a well-built filly. After her second win we thought we’d chance it here and we’re not sorry we did.

“Our jockey knows our horses and we left plans up to him, he rides with great feeling and the draw is the draw.

“Good horses go on any ground and I think that is what she is. She has many options and we’ve got a few little ideas behind our head and we’ll let you know in time where she goes.”

Jessica Harrington, trainer of the beaten market leader, said: “Colm (O’Donoghue) said when they quickened, the winner got a length on our horse and we were gaining all the way to the line.

“Probably the fact she had won her first two races easily it was the first time she had to get down and race.

“We knew it was going to be a big step up, but she didn’t disgrace herself and that’s the main thing. She’ll definitely stay further, seven furlongs will suit her very well. I’d say she’ll probably wait and go straight to the Moyglare.”

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