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Appleby Quartet Sets Sights On New York Turf Scene
Althiqa winning the Just a Game (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Appleby Quartet Sets Sights On New York Turf Scene

ELMONT, NY – European-based trainer Charlie Appleby has a strong quartet – Althiqa, Summer Romance, Secret Protector, and Creative Flair – with sights set on attacking some of the New York turf scene’s biggest Grade 1 events this summer.

Althiqa and Summer Romance completed the exacta in the 1-mile Just a Game Stakes (G1) on June 5 at Belmont Park and remained in America to target July 17’s 1 1/8-mile Diana Stakes at Saratoga.

“Althiqa came from behind and the other was in front, and Althiqa is a pure miler,” traveling assistant Sophie Chretien told NYRA’s media department. “Maybe Summer was a bit too fresh, but that’s racing. Longer might be better for Summer.”

Althiqa worked 4 furlongs in :48.66 and Summer Romance in :49.45 over the weekend.

“They went solo yesterday just to get back on the grass and give them a little blowout,” said Chretien. “They both went very well and they’re very happy.”

Secret Protector and Creative Flair arrive next weekend in advance of their intended on July 10, the Belmont Derby and the Belmont Oaks. Each is a 1 1/4-mile trek that kicks off the Turf Triple series.

A son of top American turf sire War Front, Secret Protector was most recently third (missing second by a head) in the 1 1/4-mile Hampton Court Stakes (G3) on June 17 at the Royal Ascot meet. Creative Flair, a daughter of elite European stallion Dubawi, exits a victory in the 1 1/4-mile Abingdon Stakes at Newbury as the 8/5 favorite.

“The colt was with me in Dubai,” Chretien said. “He came into the year in February with a win at Meydan and was promising. He’s a lovely colt and he just finished third in a good Ascot race, and the one that won was really nice.”

Chretien also mentioned that Secret Protector’s quick turnaround wasn’t a worry.

“If he travels well, and he should as he’s quite a relaxed horse, then it should be fine,” Chretien said. “I believe he came back well from his race and he’s a genuine horse. 10 furlongs will be perfect for him.”

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