06/18/2014 3:34PM

The Fugue beats Magician, Treve in Prince of Wales


A 5-year-old Group 1-winning mare with pedigree typically would be settled into life as a broodmare. Not The Fugue, who might have run the race of her life Wednesday at Royal Ascot, beating Magician and the heavily favored Treve in winning the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths in course-record time.

The Fugue early on raced in midpack among eight in the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales, moving easily into a contending position without being asked by jockey William Buick. She inhaled pacesetter Elkaayed with a quarter-mile to run and impressively saw off Magician, who had beaten an unlucky The Fugue in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf, and Treve, who came home one length behind Magician while taking her second straight loss following five wins to start her career.

The Fugue easily could have been retired by owners Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Madeleine Lloyd-Webber after second-place finishes in the BC Turf and the Dec. 8 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin, but she was kept in training over the winter, only to finish a lackluster 11th in the Dubai Duty Free on March 30. But The Fugue bounced back this spring. She appears to be at the top of her game.

“It was very good of the Lloyd-Webbers to keep her in training at 5,” said winning trainer John Gosden, who sent Kingman to win the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday’s opening Royal Ascot card. “Horses get all their teeth when they are 4, and she is now fully developed. She is a powerful and magnificent filly.”

Racing over the sort of good-to-firm, fast-playing turf she relishes, The Fugue was timed in a course-record 2:01.90. Gosden mentioned the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and the Juddmonte International at York as possible upcoming races for The Fugue, saying he will avoid racing the mare on soft ground.

Magician, trained by Aidan O’Brien, turned in one of his better performances, but Treve, racing outside France and on firm turf for the first time, ran below the form that easily won her the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last fall, unable to muster a turn of foot to finish with the top two.

“Her action was not right, but I don’t know why,” said trainer Criquette Head-Maarek. “Maybe we will discover something when we get home.”

There also were three Group 2 races on the Wednesday program. Mustajeeb won the Jersey Stakes for 3-year-olds, Integral won the Duke of Cambridge Stakes for fillies and mares, and Anthem Alexander the Queen Mary Stakes for 2-year-olds, a race in which the Wesley Ward-trained Spanish Pipedream finished fourth of 21.

Rosalind goes in Coronation

Two American horses will see action Friday at Ascot (first post 9:30 a.m. Eastern), including Rosalind, the Ken McPeek-trained 3-year-old filly who starts in the day’s lone Group 1, the Coronation Stakes.

Rosalind is a longshot in the one-mile Coronation, with Lightning Thunder, the runner-up in the English and Irish 1000 Guineas, My Titania, and Rizeena heading the ante-post betting market.

Ward, who won the Windsor Castle on Tuesday with Hootenanny, has the 2-year-old filly Sunset Glow in the Group 2 Albany, a 24-horse, six-furlong dash (and the card’s first race). Sunset Glow is co-favored.