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ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – When an opening appeared shortly past midway home, Dandalla surged through it and blasted off once clear, easily winning Friday’s Albany Stakes (G3) on Day 4 of the 2020 Royal Ascot Meet.
Sent away at 8/1 odds stateside under Ben Curtis, Dandalla settled in the thick of the pack of 2-year-old fillies. Valpolicella took the initial lead, but the American-based Flying Aletha soon moved ahead to take command from the middle of the lane.
The pace began to quicken halfway through the 6-furlong event and Flying Aletha was soon swallowed up. Dandalla found an opening nearing the 2-furlong marker and surged forward to steal the lead, and from that point, it was all over.
Drawing away impressively, the Karl Burke trainee crossed 6 lengths clear in a final time of 1:16.38 over the good to soft going.
“It is on every jockey’s to-do list,” said Curtis after notching his first Royal Ascot victory. “I have been coming down to Royal Ascot for a good while now and not really getting involved, so finally to get a winner is unbelievable.”
The 5/2 stateside favorite Setarhe found her best footing perhaps too late, getting past Mother Earth in the shadow of the wire to take second by a neck. Undertake was a 1/2-length ahead of a stubborn Valpolicella, with the same gap back to Willabell in sixth.
Golden Melody, Mariance, Mahale, Flying Aletha, Follow Suit, Cirrus, and Bonne Vitesse completed the order of finish. Ventura Vision was withdrawn from the race after she refused to load into the gate, causing a several-minutes delay to the start.
It's a first Royal Ascot winner for jockey @_benacurtis as he rides Dandalla to victory in the Group 3 Albany Stakes 👏Spectacular stuff from Karl Burke's filly!#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/BMPDv52rFA— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 19, 2020
It's a first Royal Ascot winner for jockey @_benacurtis as he rides Dandalla to victory in the Group 3 Albany Stakes 👏Spectacular stuff from Karl Burke's filly!#RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/BMPDv52rFA
Dandalla’s win was her second from as many career starts for co-owners Nick Bradley Racing 28 and Elaine Burke, Karl’s wife. The Dandy Man filly was previously a 2-length victor in a 5-furlong event over the Newcastle all weather surface.
“We were worried about the rain the last 48 hours,” Karl Burke said. ” walked the track yesterday and it was very wet. We did not have as much rain today, but the ground is tacky. The thing that sort of tempered that was in her work, Dandalla has always been a strong galloper with a turn of foot.”
Dandalla brought back $19 to win and $5.60 to place, Setarhe brought back $3.20 to place, and Mother Earth paid $3 to place.
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