Qemah records Ascot double
French filly Qemah secured back-to-back Royal Ascot victories in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
Jean-Claude Rouget's four-year-old won the Coronation Stakes 12 months ago and repeated the dose on the grandest stage of British Flat racing in the Group Two over a mile.
Smart Call made the running in the main group on the stands side, which set the race up nicely for Qemah, who took charge inside the final furlong.
Aljazzi rallied but she was never going to catch Qemah, who won by three-quarters of a length as the 5-2 favourite and was skilfully ridden by Gregory Benoist.
Compatriot Usherette, who won the race last year, encountered traffic problems before she flew home on the far rail for third place, another neck away.
Benoist said: "She won nicely here last year. Last time at Lingfield she wasn't very exciting but today the fast ground, the pace of the race and she was on a good day.
"She was ready for this race and we are very happy to win twice at Royal Ascot. Last time it was soft ground here, but she's raced on good ground in France, she can go anywhere."
Rouget said: "The lad at home, Jerome, had been doing strong work with her every day and he had been very happy that it was not the same filly that ran at Lingfield, there had been a big change.
"I hope now she's in a good place for the rest of the season. After that we'll go to Deauville for the Prix Rothschild."
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