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Belmont Stakes beckons for Rebel’s Romance

Rebel’s Romance is set to run next in the Belmont Stakes, final leg of the American Triple Crown, following confirmation that he will miss the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Charlie Appleby has announced the UAE Derby winner will not be ready for the run for the roses at Churchill Downs on May 1.

He will also miss the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico two weeks later, but is to be targeted at the Belmont in New York in early June.

Trainer Charlie Appleby told Godolphin’s official Twitter account: “Having spoken to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we feel he needs more time and he will now be aimed at the last leg of the US Triple Crown, the G1 Belmont Stakes.”

Rebel’s Romance makes no mistake in UAE 2000 Guineas Trial

Charlie Appleby’s Rebel’s Romance maintained his unbeaten record in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial at Meydan, as Mouheeb made him pull out all the stops.

With wins at Newcastle and Kempton under his belt already, the Dubawi gelding brought a tall reputation into the race and all appeared to be going smoothly as William Buick circumnavigated the field on the final bend.

He looked sure to put the race to bed as soon as he hit the front, as his stride lengthened – but the also-unbeaten Mouheeb refused to wilt.

The Jebel Ali winner stuck to his task gamely, not allowing Rebel’s Romance any peace in front, but in truth Buick did not have to get too serious with his mount and he managed to keep him at bay, with the pair well clear.

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Appleby said: “That was a perfect first experience on dirt and he will have learned a lot. He was a bit slowly away as we expected, but he has travelled strongly and picked up well.

“It looked close at the end, but when you watch it back William has really looked after him and given him a nice education with the UAE 2000 Guineas in mind.

“Whatever he does this year though he is going to be a really nice horse for 2022 and is one to look forward to. As a gelding, hopefully he will be around for a few years.”

Buick said: “It was a very pleasing performance, he adapted well to the dirt which is never easy.

he responded when the second horse came at him so he had something left in the tank

“His two wins at home came on an artificial surface, but running on a dirt track is so different.

“I thought he showed his class today, he was always going to come on for today and I’m sure they’ve left something to work on so it was very pleasing overall.

“I could feel my horse getting lonely in front, but then he responded when the second horse came at him so he had something left in the tank.

“The horse who finished second won well at Jebel Ali and looked a good horse that day, I think they set a decent standard.”