Saffron Beach impresses in Duke of Cambridge

Saffron Beach gave weight and a thorough beating to her rivals in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s filly enjoyed an excellent three-year-old campaign last season, finishing second to Mother Earth in the 1000 Guineas before reversing that form in the Sun Chariot.

A penalty for that Group One victory meant she was forced to concede 5lb all round, but it proved no barrier to a comfortable success.

Making her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Dubai Turf on World Cup night at Meydan in March, Saffron Beach could be called the winner a long way out under a confident William Buick.

Once given her head, the 5-2 joint-favourite put the race to bed in a matter of strides and was good value for the winning margin of three and a half lengths over the staying-on Thunder Beauty.

Primo Bacio was close up in third, with both the other joint-favourite Bashkirova and the winner’s old foe Mother Earth failing to land a telling blow.

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French raider Sibila Spain was withdrawn at the start.

Chapple-Hyam said: “She did it in commanding fashion, he sat there, pulled her out and ‘ping’ off she went.

“I presume we’ll go for the Rothschild in Deauville, then the Sun Chariot and then the Breeders’ Cup. Why not? We’ll leave it to the owners.

“You always worry about that 5lb penalty, but it’s been a rule for years and I suppose it’s there for a reason, but you worry – 5lb is 5lb.

Saffron Beach starred under William Buick
Saffron Beach starred under William Buick (David Davies/PA)

“I think it was hard going to Dubai off a winter, and those horses are hardened colts and geldings, which they showed in the blanket finish and we didn’t have a pre-race, a prep race, whereas here, we’d gone to Chelmsford and we’d gone to the July Course and had got the work into her.”

Buick added: “We got a nice lead into it, with steady fractions. She’s got gears and she was very smooth today.

“It’s great for Jane, all the owners involved. It’s fantastic – it’s Royal Ascot. You have to enjoy these moments.”

Jason Kelly, assistant to David O’Meara, said of Thunder Beauty: “She has run a great race, we are delighted with her.

“We’ll probably step back to seven furlongs, there is the Oak Tree at Goodwood, that will be high on the agenda.

“She is a high-class filly and is versatile ground-wise.”

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