Perfect Proportions

DIVINE PROPORTIONS strengthened her reputation as an exceptional filly when she won the Prix de Diane Hermes in magnificent style at Chantilly yesterday.

Running for the first time over 10 and a half furlongs, she responded in magnificent fashion when required by Christophe Lemaire to land her fourth Group One race and second French Classic.

Lemaire guided her to an easy victory over Argentina and German contender Paita as her main rival Vadawina disappointed, fading into fourth. The Aga Khan’s filly was later seen bandaged on one of her hind legs.

“She is something special,” said Lemaire of the 8-15 favourite, who is now unbeaten in all her eight races for the Niarchos family.

“I was always travelling strongly and I felt there was a motor no-one else possessed. When I pushed the button she simply lifted off. I cannot believe I will ride another horse like this.”

Divine Proportions was giving trainer Pascal Bary his first victory in the French Oaks.

“I said at Longchamp, when she won the 1000 Guineas, that she was a phenomenon, but today she is more than that. I cannot find the words to describe it,” he said.

Divine Proportions was emulating East Of The Moon, who completed the French Guineas-Oaks double in the Niarchos colours in 1994, when trained by the late Francois Boutin.

“I am overjoyed and so proud that we took the right decision to come here rather than Royal Ascot next week,” said the owners’ racing manager Alan Cooper.

“She is a remarkable filly and one you could do anything with.”

He added that she would likely go for the Prix Jacques Le Marois in August over a mile at Deauville.

Divine Proportions was given the perfect lead by her pacemaker Sapas, and though Vadawina briefly threatened when she slipped through on the rails entering the straight, the winner soon dismissed her and stretched clear.

Olivier Peslier came late on Argentina but was three lengths down at the line, with Paita a further half-length away in third.

“I was never worried - even when she was second-last I knew she was travelling well,” said the runner-up’s handler Elie Lellouche, who trained the winners in 2001 and 2002.

“She has lost to a great champion.”

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