Rouget rues tardy start

DUAL Group One winner Qemah is unlikely to run again this season after being beaten into third place in Saturday’s Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

Victorious in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before landing the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained three-year-old had to make do with minor honours in Ireland behind Alice Springs, a filly she had beaten in her two previous starts.

Qemah had previously dazzled in the Coronation Stakes

Rouget feels Qemah’s tardy start was costly at Leopardstown and he is confident she can make her mark at the highest level once more in 2017.

“It was a bad start and she was never relaxed in the first part of the race,” said the trainer.

“She did well to get third place. If she had been ridden in behind Alice Springs, it could have been a match between the two.

“I think she will not run any more this year as she has had a strong season.

“We will certainly keep her for next year and make her Group One filly again.”

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