04/05/2014, Miss France provides Fabre with Guineas win – Taghrooda heads Oaks betting after Polly romp – Esoterique blooms for Fabre in Dahlia Stakes – Variety Club becomes first visitor to win Mile

Miss France

Miss France (far right) leads home the Qipco 1,000 Guineas field

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Miss France provides Fabre with Guineas win


Report: Newmarket, Sunday

Qipco 1,000 Guineas (Group 1) 1m, 3yo fillies

ANDRE FABRE’S glittering training career has seen him capture many of racing’s biggest prizes, and he snared one of the few to have eluded him as Miss France triumphed under Maxime Guyon.

The filly had to improve plenty for her prep run in the Group 3 Prix Imprudence, when only sixth, and she did, striking from just off the pace with enough in reserve to hold off Lightning Thunder, who flew home in the final furlong under Harry Bentley.


Fabre had already served notice of his impressive record on the Rowley Mile when Esoterique took out the Dahlia Stakes earlier on the card, and he said: “It means a lot and I couldn’t be more delighted.

“I was a bit worried to see her so close to the pace but it worked.”

Fabre mentioned the Prix de Diane at Chantilly, and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot as possible targets.

The Investec Oaks was not highlighted by Fabre, though he did say he thinks Miss France will get further. She is now a 12-1 shot for the Oaks, from as big as 33-1.

Maxime Guyon, having his first ride in the race and due to celebrate his 25th birthday this week, had Miss France in prime position from the start, tracking leader Manderley, while Rizeena was settled in mid pack.

The Richard Hannon-trained outsider would hold sway until deep into the race, with the field stacking up behind entering the dip. Guyon made his move, tackling Manderley, as the gambled-on Ihtimal also came to the fore.

It appeared that duo would have the race between them, Miss France holding off Ihtimal, before Lightning Thunder came with a flourish on the stands’ side, nearly handing Olly Stevens a Classic winner with his first runner.

Miss France and Maxime Guyon

Maxime Guyon celebrates aboard 1,000 Guineas winner Miss France

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

A head had separated the pair at the track last September in the Oh So Sharp Stakes, and the form worked out exceptionally, but once again Lightning Thunder was unable to beat Miss France, this time going down by a neck.

Stevens was unsurprisingly pleased with Lightning Thunder, and could take on Miss France again at Royal Ascot as he said: “We’re thrilled, it’s wonderful to be here with a filly of this quality. We might go straight to the Coronation.”

Lightning Thunder has the option of the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but Stevens added that she would need to come out her Newmarket run very well.

While the winner returned at 7-1 and Lightning Thunder was 14-1, third went to Ihtimal, also at 7-1, with pacesetter Manderley running a screamer to take fourth at 100-1.

Rizeena could never land a blow, while Lucky Kristale was another to disappoint, compromising her chances by pulling too hard early. Tapestry, backed into 4-1 favouritism, came home last of the 17 runners.


Taghrooda wins the Pretty Polly Stakes

Taghrooda wins the Pretty Polly Stakes for Paul Hanagan and John Gosden

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Taghrooda heads Oaks betting after Polly romp


Report: Newmarket, Sunday

Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes (Listed Race) 1m2f, 3yo fillies

THE John Gosden-trained Taghrooda surged to the head of the betting for the Investec Oaks after a breathtaking six-length victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket, with Betfred a standout 4-1.


Last year’s Pretty Polly winner Talent turned up at Epsom as a largely unconsidered 20-1 shot and made a mockery of her price in winning the fillies’ Classic. Bookmakers will not be making the same mistake twice.

Wondermare Ouija Board also completed the Newmarket/Epsom double.

Taghrooda is a daughter of brilliant Derby winner Sea The Stars, who now has a Classic contender with his first crop in the Sheikh Hamdan-owned filly.

Sea The Stars handled the step up to a mile and a half with ease and having seen Taghrooda blow away her rivals over 1m2f, Racing Post bloodstock editor Martin Stevens is sure the step up in trip will suit.

“Taghrooda’s pedigree is tailor-made for the Oaks,” he said. “She is by Sea The Stars, whose glittering cv included the Derby and Arc over 1m4f, and out of Ezima, a daughter of Classic sire par excellence Sadler’s Wells.

“Ezima herself won Listed contests ranging from 1m2f to 1m6f. This is the family of Irish Oaks heroine Ebadiyla, two of whose siblings – Enzeli and Estimate – won the Ascot Gold Cup.”

Whether or not she heads straight to Epsom, as both Talent and Ouija Board did, Gosden is undecided: “We might go to Epsom for a gallop or go for a trial,” he said. “The next trials come a bit quick – the Musidora and Newbury are ten or 12 days away – and then Goodwood comes a little close. We’ll see how she’s going over the next few days.”

On her performance in the Pretty Polly, the trainer added: “There was no pace, she did it fine and finished well. A mile and a half will be her game.”

Despite the slow early pace, and her stamina-laden pedigree, Paul Hanagan showed great faith in the even-money favourite. “We bought her here for a racecourse gallop and she gave me a lot of confidence, she’s just got a bit about her,” he said. “Stepping up to a mile and a half will be fine, she’s very uncomplicated.”


Esoterique beats Integral in the Dahlia Stakes

Esoterique (yelllow cap) narrowly gets the better of Integral in the Dahlia

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Esoterique blooms for Fabre in Dahlia Stakes


Report: Newmarket, Sunday

Qatar Bloodstock Dahlia Stakes (Group 3) 1m1f, fillies and mares, 4yo+

ESOTERIQUE gave trainer Andre Fabre and jockey Maxime Guyon a perfect boost before the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, as the filly bested favourite Integral in the fight to the line.


Fabre and Guyon team up in the Guineas with the 6-1 second favourite Miss France, and Esoterique extended the trainer’s fine form on the Rowley Mile.

Beaten by a neck in the French 1,000 Guineas last season, Esoterique had not found that form in her two previous outings this year, finishing fourth twice – when sent off favourite.

However she bounced back for Guyon, coming with a strong challenge from just off the pace on the stands’ side, with Integral also laying down her challenge on the far side.

Sir Michael Stoute had won five of the last seven runnings of the race, including last year with subsequent Breeders’ Cup heroine Dank.

Ryan Moore gave Integral every chance as the pair slugged it out, but she could not better Esoterique, going down by a head with the front pair well clear.

Fabre said: “It was an ideal race for her as it was restricted to females. The distance is her limit, she got a bit tired in the final furlong. She deserved to win a nice race but we had a tough opponent in Ryan Moore.”

The Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp, towards the end of June, was mentioned as Esoterique’s next target with Fabre adding that he hoped to bring the filly back to Britain at some point later in the season.


Variety Club - Sha Tin

Variety Club takes his record to 17 wins from 23 starts in Champions Mile

 PICTURE: Hong Kong Jockey Club

Variety Club becomes first visitor to win Mile


Report: Sunday, Hong Kong

Sha Tin: Champions Mile (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+

TWO-TIME South African horse of the year Variety Clubbecame the first international visitor to win the Champion Mile after a mesmerising performance left the home team – and Irish raider Gordon Lord Byron – clutching thin air.


Having been on the receiving end as Variety Club beat Soft Falling Rain in the Godolphin Mile, Mike de Kock was all smiles after the 17-time winner romped to victory on his debut for the trainer.

“He’s a super horse and it’s a privilege to work with him although it doesn’t happen without a top team behind you,” said De Kock, who trained Musir to finish third in the race three years ago.

Variety Club overcame the difficulty of stall 12 – no horse had previously won the Champions Mile from a stall wider than nine – under Anton Marcus to run out an easy winner of the HK$12 million contest.

Trailing in his wake came Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy winner Able Friend in second, last year’s winner Dan Excel in third and Hong Kong Mile hero Glorious Days in fourth.

Marcus added: “He’s an absolute professional, I’m just the pilot. This was probably his litmus test and he’s shown what he’s all about.

“It’s probably the crowning moment of my career, especially because Marcus Jooste [owner] isn’t always able to be on the course when we have a runner.”

Gordon Lord Byron, also drawn wide in gate 13, made late headway when all was lost to finish in the mid division on his third run in Hong Kong.

His trainer Tom Hogan said: “It’s a shame. I told jockey Zac Purton what would happen – Variety Club would lead then slow the pace – and asked him to sit on Variety Club’s tail but he got further behind than I would have liked and never really have a race.”


fonte: RacingPost