Albany Stakes
(Fillies' Group 3) Ascot 14:30
£80,000 added,
2yo only,
6f, Class 1   
Friday 17th June 2016

1 Brave Anna 16/1
2 Bletchley 16/1
3 Queen Kindly 13/2
16 ran Distances: shd, ½l, ½l
TIME 1m 15.20s (slow by 2.60s)

A third Royal Ascot winner for Seamie Heffernan who lands the Albany Stakes on Aidan O'Brien's Brave Anna

Brave Anna
© Caroline Norris
Brave Anna

Aidan O'Brien recorded his fourth winner of this year's Royal Meeting (his 52nd Royal Ascot winner in total) when Brave Anna dug deep to land the Group Three Albany Stakes over six furlongs by a short-head this afternoon.

The 16/1 shot was slowly away under jockey Seamie Heffernan to begin with but the pair were soon travelling nicely and came with a challenge just over a furlong out. The runner-up, Bletchley, loomed up alongside the winner in the dying strides but Heffernan just had enough up his sleeve to deny the Qatar Racing Limited-owned filly by a narrow margin.

Heffernan, celebrating his third Royal Ascot success, was happy with the way the race panned out.

"The plan was to give her a chance by tracking them early on and then stay on late and that's what she did," said the jockey.

"Aidan can get them ready can't he?

"Brave Anna is a lovely filly and came here on the back of a good win at the Curragh.

"Aidan told me to give her a little chance and hopefully she would run and finish out well. And that's what she has done.

"It is nice to ride a winner for this lady (Mrs Evie Stockwell - owner) - she's an important lady in the team. Mrs Stockwell paid me a huge compliment the last day I won on Brave Anna so it's nice to pitch up on the big day and win again.

"She's always shown that she's a nice filly. We'd left a little bit there for her to show on the track and today was the day.

"She's stepped up in class and taken on the best six furlong fillies around. We weren't sure of a lot of things. She was the best horse today. She has been prepared very well and I had to ride her with confidence.

"If I'd have been given the choice of Aidan's horses, I'd have actually chosen Ryan's (Moore's horse Cuff - the 2/1 favourite) but it's worked out nicely for me."

O'Brien said: "We were nearly leaving her at home, because I thought she might need seven furlongs, rather than six. Mrs Stockwell said to let her take her chance, so that's why she's here.

"She's a brave filly, and Seamus gave her a lovely ride. She's here because the ground is soft - I thought she needed seven furlongs, so I thought she might get it here on soft. But she's a War Front so she shouldn't be a soft ground lover. It was the same at the Curragh - she ran as second string there and came and nabbed a fancied runner. She was green first time out [when unplaced at Naas on her debut] and came on from that. I think she will want a mile in time."

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Albany Stakes
£80,000 added, 2yo only, 6f, Class 1
16 ran
Going: Good to Soft

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (16) Brave Anna (USA) 16/1 J A Heffernan
9-0
A P O'Brien 2
2nd (4) s.h Bletchley 16/1 Oisin Murphy
9-0
R M Beckett 2
3rd (14) &frac12 Queen Kindly 13/2 J P Spencer
9-0
R A Fahey 2
4th (15) &frac12 Create A Dream (USA) 11/2 L Dettori
9-0
Wesley Ward 2
5th (2) 1 Cuff (IRE) 2/1f R L Moore
9-0
A P O'Brien 2
6th (7) 2 Kilmah 12/1 R Kingscote
9-0
M Johnston 2
7th (10) 1&frac34 Dainty Dandy (IRE) 33/1 M Harley
9-0
P F I Cole 2
8th (6) &frac12 Melesina (IRE) 100/1 P Hanagan
9-0
R A Fahey 2
9th (13) 2&frac34 Sea Of Snow (USA) 33/1 James Doyle
9-0
M Johnston 2
10th (3) &frac34 High On Love (IRE) 50/1 S Donohoe
9-0
C Fellowes 2
11th (1) s.h Oh Grace (IRE) 20/1 K J Manning
9-0
J S Bolger 2
12th (5) 2&frac14 Cheval Blanche (USA) 66/1 James McDonald
9-0
M L W Bell 2
13th (8) 4&frac12 Grizzel (IRE) 13/2 P J Dobbs
9-0
R Hannon 2
14th (9) 1 Perfect Madge (IRE) 20/1 P J Smullen
9-0
K A Ryan 2
15th (11) 3&frac12 Spin Doctor 25/1 T Hamilton
9-0
R A Fahey 2
16th (12) 2&frac14 Romantic View 11/1 W Buick
9-0
C Appleby 2

BLETCHLEY AN AGONISING SECOND FOR BECKETT

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bletchley (16/1) finished a short-head second in the first race of day four of the Royal meeting.

Having been held up in the mid-division by Oisin Murphy after a slow start from the stalls, the daughter of Makfi stayed on well on the far side to pose a real threat inside the final furlong.

The two-year-old was closing all the way to the line but just failed in her bid to peg back the 16/1 winner Brave Anna.

Beckett said: "She was slow from the gate and that is probably what got her beat but that is life. She's run a cracker."

David Redvers, Racing and Bloodstock Manager to Qatar Racing and Pearl Bloodstock, who also handed over the trophy to the winner, remarked: "It was a big step up on what she did before. It looks like she needs seven furlongs as she would have won the race a stride after the line. We had a great run for our money."

Richard Fahey, trainer of third-placed Queen Kindly was pleased with the daughter of Frankel, who stayed on well inside the final two furlongs. The trainer said: "Jamie [Spencer, jockey] just felt the ground was a bit sticky and she didn't travel as well as he would have liked early on.

"I thought she stayed well today but she is a speedy filly. Better ground on an easy six furlongs is something we will look for.

"It's not a bad run but when you come here and expect to win, you are disappointed. It's a good run but you don't come here to run well, you come here to win. On better ground, you'll see a better filly as she is quite quick.

"I'll get her home before making any decisions. She was ready to come to Ascot today and she was entitled to be here. She will have better days in her now, it was only her second race and we are pleased.

"She was never comfortable on the ground early on for a filly with speed. She is all speed and she didn't look it today, she looked as if she stayed. Maybe that is down to the tacky ground out there now. On a quicker surface, we will see a better filly."

Jamie Spencer, rider of Queen Kindly, said: "She ran a beautiful race. I am delighted with her. She is all speed and better ground would have suited her.

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