Sandrine rules supreme in Albany Stakes

Sandrine maintained her unbeaten record in the Albany Stakes to provide Andrew Balding with his second two-year-old winner of the week at Royal Ascot.

In very contrasting conditions to the first three days of the meeting, the ground had turned extremely testing and the fixture had to survive a lengthy inspection before being given the go-ahead.

Running in the famous Kirsten Rausing colours, Sandrine is by the American sire Bobby’s Kitten so it was a surprise how well she handled the deep ground.

A winner on the all-weather on her debut, Sandrine was sent off a 16-1 chance but she stayed on powerfully under David Probert.

The majority of the field stayed down the middle of the track with only Oscula and Hellomydarlin staying on the rail, and with a furlong to run Oscula – who was third to the winner first time out – still held every chance.

But Sandrine took up the running from Hello You inside the final furlong to come away and win by a length and a half, with Oscula back in third.

Probert said: “She was super fit and hardy for an inexperienced filly, and quite relaxed in the early stages which helped her for the finish.

“We had such a deluge, the ground is loose and they are galloping through it.”

Balding won the Coventry Stakes on Tuesday with Berkshire Shadow.

The Kingslcere trainer said: “I felt it was sure to be off driving here – we were only coming because we were having lunch, I thought it was certain to be abandoned!

“But I’m so pleased for Kirsten and all the team at Lanwades who are great supporters, she thoroughly deserves a win like this.

“She was impressive when she won, we thought it was a low-class race at Kempton, but the form worked out well.

“She worked well last week and we felt we were entitled to run. We were a bit concerned about the ground because there were mixed messages in the pedigree, but Kirsten told me Bobby’s Kitten only raced in Ireland on soft ground, so it was worth a go and David gave her a beautiful ride.

“She did it nicely today, there was no fluke about it. She travelled liked the best horse in the race and I thought she was impressive.”

Of Hello You, trainer Ralph Beckett said: “She hit the boxes and was quite free, but she saw it out well.

“Her programme will speak for itself with the likes of the Cherry Hinton and the Lowther amongst possible targets.”

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