Soumillon takes Classic honours

JOCKEY Christophe Soumillon rode a Group One treble including the French 2000 and 1000 Guineas on a disappointing afternoon for the Irish and British challengers at Longchamp yesterday.

Only Aidan O’Brien’s Catcher In The Rye threatened to grab Classic glory, but his flashing run under Kieren Fallon in the Gainsborough Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000) came too late to catch Clodovil.

The winner gave trainer Andre Fabre his fourth victory in the Poulains and he went on to complete a Classic double when Soumillon produced Musical Chimes with a late burst to take the Gainsborough Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the French equivalent of the 1000 Guineas.

Soumillon had earlier won the Group One Prix Lupin on the unbeaten Dalakhani for trainer Alain de Royer Dupre, as well as taking the opener on Tashkandi.

The jockey had 9-4 favourite Clodovil well placed just behind the leading pair Dalcassian and Krataios in the Poulains and soon had the race sewn up when he kicked for home a furlong out.

Catcher In The Rye was last turning for home after struggling to go the pace, but he put in a late bid for glory under Fallon, devouring the ground on the outside of the field. But he could not reach the unbeaten winner and went down by a length.

Krataios finished third with O’Brien’s first string France, ridden by Michael Kinane, fourth and David Loder’s Desert Destiny fifth. Jamie Spencer’s mount appeared slightly unlucky after failing to get a run on the rails.

O’Brien reported of Catcher In The Rye: “Kieren just said he was too green coming down the hill. He didn’t realise what was happening until one and a half furlongs out.

“If he is OK we will have at look at the Irish 2000 Guineas (on May 24).”

Soumillon completed his remarkable Group One treble when Musical Chimes took a rough race for the Pouliches.

The 12-1 chance found a gap in the centre of the field and headed front-running Maiden Tower in the final 50 yards.

Dalakhani maintained his 100 per cent record with a smooth victory under Soumillon in the Prix Lupin.

The Aga Khan’s colt, trained by Alain de Royer Dupre, came through with a perfectly-timed run inside the final furlong to beat another French-trained colt, Super Celebre, with O’Brien’s Alberto Giacometti third.

Godolphin’s Vodafone Derby hope New South Wales was the disappointment of the race, finishing sixth of the seven runners.

O’Brien said of Alberto Giacometti: “ He didn’t get the luck in the race and I’d say he is still a possible for Epsom.”

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