Believing blitzes Achilles Stakes field to set up Royal Ascot bid

Believing posted a commanding performance to win the Betfred Passionate About Sport Achilles Stakes at Haydock.

All eyes were on 5-4 favourite Live In The Dream, winner of the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes last season, but it was the George Boughey-trained 5-1 shot Believing who proved the class act on the day.

Settled in behind by Danny Tudhope as Live In The Dream blazed an early trail with Democracy Dilemma, Believing was travelling incredibly well with a couple of furlongs to run and when shot to the front when asked.

Believing extended away to post a comfortable two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Commanche Falls in the five-furlong dash, with Korker keeping on for third place and Live In The Dream only fifth.

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The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned winner was last seen when disappointing in Hong Kong and Boughey was delighted to see her back to her best on quicker ground.

“That was very impressive,” he said.

“I was really disappointed after Hong Kong when nothing really went right for her, but the key to her is good ground.

“There was a strong headwind today and the favourite was running into the teeth of it, but we weren’t sat that far behind.”

Believing is now a 12-1 chance from 33s with Coral for the five-furlong King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot, and 16-1 from 25-1 for the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs.

The King Charles on day one is her primary target, but Boughey would not be opposed to shooting for both.

Believing on her way to post at Haydock
Believing on her way to post at Haydock (Richard Sellers/PA)

“She’ll definitely run in the five-furlong race,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if she also ran on the Saturday over six as well.

“She’s a very easy filly to train so if she’s OK after Tuesday’s race, she could then run on the Saturday.”

Tudhope was impressed with the winner, adding: “They went quite hard up front and there was a strong headwind, but I was able to get a nice bit of cover from the wind.

“She travelled super and she did it quite easy. She’s a good filly on her day.

“I won on her at Pontefract over six furlongs and she did it easily that day as well. She’s versatile, but she’s getting better and a lot quicker as well.

“There’s some lovely races for her to target and George is doing a great job with her.”

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Live In The Dream (pink) could finish only fifth
Live In The Dream (pink) could finish only fifth (Richard Sellers/PA)

Live In The Dream weakened into fifth at the line and his owner Steve de’Lemos was struggling to figure out what he had just witnessed.

“I’m shocked and can’t believe he’s run that badly,” he said.

“Maybe it’s a bit of a City Of Troy moment in the Guineas. He was a short-priced favourite and he was stuffed.

“He’s been doing some great work at home and we feel he’s matured and is a better horse than last year. Everything was perfect.

“The only thing against us today was a 40mph headwind, but nobody really slipstreamed him. He did peck as he came out the stalls, so I don’t know if he’s hurt himself.

“There’s something not right, but Adam (West, trainer) will get to the bottom of it.”

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