Valiant Stakes: Dreamloper impressive at Ascot as she bounces back from Royal meeting disappointment

Oisin Murphy rides Ed Walker's Dreamloper to impressive victory in Group Three Valiant Stakes at Ascot; four-year-old filly disappointed in Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal meeting after starting as 4-1 favourite

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Dreamloper caught trainer Ed Walker by surprise with her impressive victory in the Valiant Stakes at Ascot, having disappointed at the Royal meeting last month

Dreamloper bounced back from Royal Ascot disappointment with an emphatic victory in the British Racecourses Join Sunflower Lanyard Scheme Valiant Stakes.

A winner at the Berkshire circuit last season, Ed Walker's filly was sent off favourite to double her Ascot tally at last month's showpiece meeting in the Kensington Palace Stakes, but could only finish in midfield.

Stepping up to Group Three level for the first time on her return to the same course, the four-year-old looked to have plenty on her plate, with the returning Fillies' Mile runner-up Indigo Girl and the prolific Lights On among her rivals.

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But ridden confidently by champion jockey Oisin Murphy, 13-2 chance Dreamloper moved smoothly onto the heels of the leaders passing the two-furlong marker before quickening up in brilliant style to leave the chasing pack trailing in her wake.

Lights On narrowly beat the slow-starting Waliyak to the runner-up spot, some four and a half lengths behind the impressive winner, with 11-8 favourite Indigo Girl only fourth on her belated seasonal reappearance.

Walker told Sky Sports Racing: "We were so confident going into Royal Ascot - and we still have no idea what happened there, I've never found a reason. She just ran flat at a time the horses were running great. There were no excuses.

Dreamloper leaves her Valiant Stakes rivals well behind at Ascot
Image: Dreamloper leaves her Valiant Stakes rivals well behind at Ascot

"Today she showed how good she could be. Oisin was very good on her as well.

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"I must give a massive shout to Molly Stratton, who rides her every day. She's not the easiest filly, and Molly has done a great job with her."

Considering future targets, the trainer added: "We've no plan in mind, but she's won a Group Three there - so it will be Group Twos and Group Ones now.

"The Sun Chariot could be a shout - but she'd have to take on (stablemate) Primo Bacio!"

Murphy was impressed with the filly's performance, saying: "She was much more relaxed today, and Ed was thrilled with how she'd been going at home.

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"It was a huge step up on what she's achieved so far, but it was very satisfying to see her go and do that, with her owner here as well.

"Why not step up higher? I'm not sure what races are in mind, but you'd hope she could step up a level."

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