Qemah takes Chartwell test
Star French filly Qemah is the main attraction in the Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Chartwell Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.
Jean-Claude Rouget's charge enjoyed an excellent three-year-old campaign in 2016, winning three of her five starts including top-level triumphs in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.
She could only finish third when bidding for a Group One hat-trick in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown in September, but connections are hopeful she can make a successful return to action in this Group Three event.
Harry Herbert, racing manager for the owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "I think her run in Ireland is best forgotten. She'd had a busy year, her coat was on the turn and she looked a little bit 'shelly'.
"She's done well over the winter and we expect her to have another good year.
"She's a really good filly, very classy and with an excellent turn of foot, like we saw in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot.
"Because we know she likes it there, we're thinking of the Queen Anne next month."
Qemah, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, is set to face 10 rivals over seven furlongs in Surrey.
Mix And Mingle made a winning start to the new campaign in a handicap at Newmarket's Craven meeting and the form has been well advertised since with the runner-up, Tabarrak, subsequently landing a Listed prize at Ascot.
Trainer Chris Wall has booked Ryan Moore to partner his star filly for this weekend's big-race assignment.
He said: "Racing off level weights with the French filly (Qemah) makes it a pretty tough call, but we'll see what we can do.
"I'm a bit disappointed the ground has gone good to soft in places. Good to firm would have suited us just fine. That's not to say she can't operate on slower ground, but fast ground is a big advantage to her.
"She goes there in good form and we're hoping for a good run from her."
Roger Varian's Realtra returns to the turf after winning the All-Weather Fillies' And Mares' Championships Conditions Stakes at this venue on Good Friday.
"The blinkers brought about a revival in form from Realtra on All-Weather Finals Day and this has been the plan since," the trainer told his website, www.varianstable.com.
"She is already a Group Three winner and seems in fine form, although Qemah is a very talented filly who will likely be difficult to beat."
The Kevin Ryan-trained Ashadihan was beaten just half a length into third by Realtra
last month and is fitted with blinkers for the rematch.
Qemah is joined on trip from France by Narnia Dawn and Rien Que Pour Toi.
Blue Bayou, Pirouette, Robanne, Summer Icon and Eartha Kitt make up the field.
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