HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani (extreme left), trainer Mikel Delzangles (second from left) and jockey Christophe Lemaire (third from left) strike a pose after the presentation ceremony of the French 1000 Guineas at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris yesterday.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani owned Flotilla a winner at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, came late and fast to grab glory in the Poule Essai Des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris yesterday.
Sporting the colours of Qatar’s Al Shahania Stud, the Mikel Delzangles trained three-year-old filly Flotilla thrived off a blistering gallop set by stablemate Sage Melody and under a perfectly timed run by Christophe Lemaire, ran down Esoterique from the Andre Fabre stable in the shadow of the winning post.
Fabre also picked up third spot with Tasaday with the Richard Hannon-trained Zurigha bagging fourth spot.
In the Group I Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Nicholas Clement saddled Style Vendome continued his ascent towards the top of the mile division in France with a narrow victory. The winner was ably ridden by Thierry Thulliez.
Gale Force Ten had a perfect sit just behind the leaders as did winner Style Vendome, who had broken from a favourable gate in three. The draw was always seen as a major problem for favourite Olympic Glory and the unbeaten Intello, who had to sit and suffer at the back of the field before the short sprint for home in the straight.
As the pacesetters faded, the way opened up for Style Vendome and he charged for the line. Style Vendome had the run of Dastarhon covered on the inside but Havana Gold was weaving his way through under Jamie Spencer while Intello was making ground hand over fist on the outside having left Olympic Glory, and most of the field, for dead. But he could not quite reach the winner.
Clement is eyeing a trip to Royal Ascot with the winner and said: “It was the horse that made the difference. I was a little worried that Thierry had got there too soon but he was very brave.
“The logical next step is the St James’s Palace Stakes but we will have to think about the French Derby as well.”