Sporting the colours of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, the three-year-old colt Pearl Tree (Joshua Tree x Prairie Pearl) held on gamely to win the Prix EJS Lesieur, a Claimer at Craon, France, yesterday. Trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, the colt secured a second career success from a total of eight outings and was given an enterprising ride from his jockey, Mickael Barzalona.
Quickly away from stall one, Pearl Tree was shoved along early and led his eight rivals into the first bend. Heading down the back straight, Manzano (Anodin) swooped around the outside of the field and took over at the head of the 2,200m contest. Pearl Tree travelled well behind Manzano through the race and was switched out wide by Barzalona for the final turn. On entering the home straight, Pearl Tree joined Manzano and had the help of the stand side rail for guidance. Strongly ridden by Barzalona, Pearl Tree began to get the better of Manzano inside the final 200m.
Stepaside Bell (Sidestep) was a shade unfortunate on entering the straight and came from a couple of lengths off the leaders with a late challenge. Pearl Tree and Stepaside Bell passed the post together and despite the latter’s jockey punching the air, a short head victory was awarded to pearl tree. Stepaside bell finished second, with the fast-finishing City Rock (Fascinating Rock) back in third.
Bred by Haras de Victot, Pearl Tree is by Kilbarry Lodge Stud’s stallion Joshua Tree (Montjeu). His dam, Prairie Pearl (Le Havre) won three of her eight career starts and ran creditably at Listed level. She has also produced Wassim (Charm Spirit), winner of a maiden at Nantes six days ago.
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