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Enchanted Empress enhances her Ascot claims with National Stakes success

3 minute read

The Dominic Ffrench Davis-trained Enchanted Empress booked her Royal Ascot ticket with a gutsy display in the Listed Orbital Veterinary Services National Stakes at Sandown.

Racecourse : Sandown Park (Great Britain).
Racecourse : Sandown Park (Great Britain).

Richard Hannon's impressive Newbury debut winner Hawaiian was sent off the 6/5 favourite to enhance his trainer's excellent record in the Sandown sprint. However, despite showing plenty of early speed to take the field along, backers of the market leader soon looked in trouble as Sean Levey got little response when asking his mount to quicken on the far side rail.

The eye was soon drawn to Dominic Ffrench Davis' Enchanted Empress, and she picked up smartly more towards the centre of the track to once again get the better of Amy Murphy's Rock Hunter, who as he did at Ascot, once again had to settle for the runner-up spot.

Zminiature stayed on well from the rear of the field to grab the bronze medal position on his first outing since landing the Brocklesby Stakes on testing ground back at Doncaster in March.

"She's a tough filly, she just got herself out of trouble as she sat back in the stalls a little bit and missed the kick," said Ffrench Davis of his 4/1 winner.

Paddy Power introduced her at 10/1 into the Albany Stakes market, but connections seem likely to stick to five furlongs for the Queen Mary Stakes, for which the same firm cut her to 8/1 (from 20s).

Ffrench Davis added: "She had the class and speed to get herself out of trouble. We always thought she was an Albany filly, but I think we're leaning now towards the Queen Mary because she's got sharper with every run.

"It should be ideal; David Egan was very much of the mind that five furlongs at Ascot was going to be fine.

"She's got a fantastic attitude; she hadn't done a lot between her last run and Ascot and here and she was actually a bit fresh today.

"She took a bit of waking up in her first run, but I think she knows what it's all about now."

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