African Rose Blooms in Sprint Cup
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 9/13/2008 8:24:51 PM
Last Updated: 9/16/2008 1:11:29 PM

African Rose, the only filly in the field, held on for a determined neck victory in the Ladbrokes Sprint Cup (Eng-I) at Doncaster Sept. 13.  The race, originally scheduled to be run at Haydock Sept. 6, had been rescheduled due to inclement weather.

Based in France with trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, African Rose had been supplemented to the original race by owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.  The 3-year-old filly had been housed temporarily at Newmarket for the past week. 

The disruption of her usual routine didn’t appear to bother the filly, who went off as the 7-2 favorite.  Jockey Stephane Pasquier asked African Rose to quicken inside the final furlong and the response was immediate, with the daughter of Observatory splitting horses and shooting to the front.

African Rose appeared to tire slightly in the final yards, but still found enough to hold on by a neck over a fast-closing Assertive.  Utmost Respect finished third, another half-length back. 

Final time for the six furlongs was 1:12.81 over the soft going.

Head-Maarek told the Press Association afterwards, “There are not many options available to her right now, so she’ll either go to the Prix de l’Abbaye (Fr-I) or we’ll go for the Breeders’ Cup, but that will be left up to the Prince (owner, Khalid Abdullah).”

African Rose is the first foal out of the stakes-placed mare, New Orchid.  A daughter of Quest For Fame, New Orchid is a half-sister to group I winner Distant View.  Champions Vanlandingham and Temperence Hill both hail from this family as well.


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