Commonwealth Cup now the big target for Relief Rally

Relief Rally is set for a drop back in trip, as sights turn to the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot following her run in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.

A winner of four of her five starts last season, she was highly unfortunate not to be unbeaten as a juvenile, with her sole defeat coming at Royal Ascot when beaten a nose by American raider Crimson Advocate in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Having changed hands for 800,000 guineas in December, the daughter of Kodiac is now owned by Zhang Yuesheng and connections decided to test their filly’s stamina over seven furlongs on her first start of the new campaign.

Despite running with real credit and finishing an honourable fourth as the 7-4 favourite, her trainer feels she should now drop back to sprinting distances and will be targeted at achieving Royal Ascot redemption in the Commonwealth Cup in late June.

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“I’m certain she didn’t stay and I said to Tom (Marquand) before the race, this will be the last time she runs over this trip, but I couldn’t not run in it,” said Haggas.

Relief Rally after running in the Fred Darling
Relief Rally after running in the Fred Darling (PA)

“Whether she is going to be a top filly, I don’t know, but she is going to run six furlongs next time, maybe at the Lockinge meeting against the colts.

“There is a race on the all-weather at Chelmsford (on May 2) for fillies, but that feels a bit hard on her and I don’t think she will go there.

“Tom said she was very weak in the last half-furlong, when he thought he had them covered, so I’m not sure, she may have just got tired as well, but she won’t run seven furlongs again and she’s not going to be running in the French Guineas.

“We’ll try to get her to Ascot if we can, with a run before.”

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