07/29/2016 12:45PM

Qemah goes for hot barn in Prix Rothschild


Qemah has been part of a spectacular spring and early summer for French trainer Jean Claude-Rouget with 3-year-old fillies.

Qemah won the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. The stable’s La Cressonniere won the French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks in May and June.

Sunday, Qemah will face older fillies and mares for the first time in the $334,800 Prix Rothschild at a straightaway mile on turf at Deauville Racecourse in northwest France. The Prix Rothschild is the first of five Group 1 Thoroughbred races at the premier Deauville meeting, which runs through late August.

Qemah has won 3 of 6 starts, all for Al Shaqab Racing, and is one of six 3-year-old fillies in the Prix Rothschild. The 3-year-old fillies figure to dominate the betting. Aside from Qemah, who will be ridden by Gregory Benoist, the 3-year-olds Alice Springs, Lumiere and Volta are rated as leading contenders.

Alice Springs, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was third in the Coronation and won the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes for fillies and mares at Newmarket, England, on July 8. Lumiere won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last September and a minor stakes at Newmarket on July 7. Volta was third in the French Oaks on June 19.

Of the older fillies and mares, Amazing Maria, the winner of the 2015 Prix Rothschild, is the most prominent, although she was last of seven in the Falmouth Stakes.

Longshot wins King George

Take Cover, a 9-year-old gelding and oldest horse in a field of 17, scored an 8-1 upset by leading throughout Friday’s $409,850 King George Stakes at five furlongs on turf at Goodwood Racecourse in England.

Ridden by David Allan, Take Cover was fully extended to finish a neck in front of 8-1 Washington DC, who was third in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-old sprinters at Royal Ascot last month. Goldream, the winner of Group 1 sprints in England France in 2015, finished third, at 12-1.

Marsha and Muthmir, joint-favorites at 5-1, finished fifth and sixth.

Take Cover won the Group 2 King George Stakes. Those victories are the most prestigious wins of his 30-race career, which began in 2011 and includes 10 wins. By Singspiel, Take Cover races for Norcroft Park Stud and trainer David Griffiths.

Muthmir and Take Cover were first and second in the 2015 King George Stakes.