The Markus Klug-trained son of Sea The Stars, whose recent victors have included Arc heroine Danedream, went into the Group One contest, with questions to answer following an injury scare that caused the colt to miss work.
No details of the nature of the problem were or have been revealed, but when it came to the crunch at the Iffezheim track Sea The Moon was found wanting and went down by three lengths.
Klug did not reveal the source of a “minor setback” that on reflection he and connections of the 1-2 favourite blamed for the defeat
But he has every intention of taking Sea The Moon to Longchamp for the Arc in exactly one month’s time, believing his charge will return to the level of form that saw him land the German Derby by eleven lengths.
When the horse came back in he had a good blow, an indication that this prep can definitely be improved upon on October 5.
And Cristian Demuro, standing in for Christophe Soumillion, is convinced Sea The Moon will leave the form well behind if he engages in a rematch with Ivanhowe in Paris.
Rather than echo disappointment, Demuro was positive about the favourite’s effort and said: “He was not ready, he was not 100% and he needed the race today.
“I was ok and he was enjoying himself at the front, but when the winner came to beat me he flew.
“I rode Ivanhowe in the German Derby last year but he had a problem and we didn’t see the best of him. Although he’s inconsistent he’s a very good horse on his day, and today was his day
“It’s ok, I think he (Sea The Moon) can come back and win the Arc, especially if he gets softer ground in that race.”
Klug was in no way downhearted at the result and accepted it with a degree of inevitability when declaring: “I was pretty sure that he was not 100%, so it was not a bad performance. The race was as we expected, and we will run in the Arc.”
At Longchamp, Criquette Head-Maarek’s juvenile Full Mast ended the perfect record of Nucifera in the Prix La Rochette.
Khalid Abdullah’s son of the smart mare Yashmak had got off the mark on his debut at Deauville and has already been given entries in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day.
Thierry Thulliez put Full Mast in front throughout the seven-furlong Group Two and held off the challenge of Jonathan Pease’s Nucifera, who was chasing a four-timer.
Spanish star Noozhoh Canarias was a big disappointment on his debut for new French-based trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias in the Prix du Pin.
Sixth in the 2000 Guineas and July Cup when with Enrique Leon, he was down to Group Three company over seven furlongs but pulled hard under Christophe Soumillon in second behind a furious pace set by Blue Soave.
At Veliefendi in Turkey. Pether’s Moon provided a big-money victory for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes in the International Bosphorus Cup
Sent off a hot favourite for the mile and a half Group Two at the Istanbul track, Hughes was anchored at the rear of the field but made a decisive move on the home bend and his mount quickly moved from last to first and had the race wrapped up with a furlong remaining, even if Village Wind had whittled down his advantage by the line.
Hughes and Hannon had the market leader for the International Topkapi Trophy but Toormore could only manage third behind fellow raider Glory Awaits.
Last year’s champion two-year-old has not developed at three, and had every chance in the home straight but Neil Callan had ridden an astute race from the front on the Kevin Ryan-trained Glory Awaits.
lBalthazar King and Richard Johnson successfully defended their title in the Grand Cross-Country de Craon.
Philip Hobbs’ versatile 10-year-old fell on his most recent visit to France in a big event at Le Lion d’Angers in late May, having earlier chased home Pineau De Re in the Grand National.
The dual winner of the Cheltenham Festival cross-country race was paraded in front of the stands at the north-western French course after his three-length defeat of Kapville.