New Bay gives Fabre fourth French Derby success

New Bay finished with a flourish to provide Andre Fabre with a fourth victory in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly yesterday.

New Bay gives Fabre fourth French Derby success

The Khalid Abdullah-owned son of Dubawi was settled in the rear by French champion jumps jockey Vincent Cheminaud for much of the extended mile-and-a-quarter journey and remained nearer last than first rounding the home turn.

Once angled wide to challenge, though, New Bay showed thrilling acceleration to run to the lead and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post under his jubilant jockey.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Cheminaud.

“New Bay is an extraordinary horse.”

Highland Reel fared the best of Aidan O’Brien’s three runners, bouncing back from a disappointing run when favourite for the French 2000 Guineas to fill the runner-up spot in the hands of the trainer’s son, Joseph.

The Ryan Moore-ridden Cape Clear Island failed to get competitive, however, while stable companion War Envoy was a long last.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s much-vaunted Karaktar looked poised to challenge early in the straight, but his run petered out and he was ultimately disappointing.

War Dispatch finished an unlucky-in-running third for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Ioritz Mendizabal.

O’Brien said of his trio: ‘‘I’m delighted with Highland Reel. He ran a very good race.

“He progressed well from the last race. I’m very happy with his race.

“Highland Reel has a lot of options.

“There is the Irish Derby or the Eclipse. He has all of those races possible.

“The winner quickened up very well, didn’t he?

“Cape Clear Island wants fast ground. War Envoy ran disappointing. Maybe a mile and a quarter is too far.”

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, said: ‘‘He is a relatively inexperienced horse, really. It was very exciting.

“This is the first French Derby (win) for Prince Khalid since Sanglamore in 1990.

“We have had some near-misses, with the likes of Famous Name and others.

“This was a super performance, the way he accelerated, and he showed a great turn of foot to come and win a big race like this.

“I think he has good options, he might even stay the mile and a half. We will have to sit and think about what is the best plan.

“I always think where would we like to end up and then go backwards.

“The Arc or the great options of Juddmonte at York, the Irish Champion Stakes - there are plenty of very nice options.

“He certainly gets a mile and a quarter and it was soft ground, so would he get the 300 extra metres? We shall see.”

On Cheminaud, Grimthorpe said: “Andre called and asked if we would mind having a jumps jockey.

“He said he was the best. A champion is a champion, he is a champion jockey so why wouldn’t he be able to ride on the Flat?”

Cheminaud said: “I’m delighted to have won this race and cannot thank the connections enough for giving me this opportunity.

“I might have had a bad draw but it actually worked in my favour.

“Olivier Peslier had talked to me before the race and had given me some good advice.

“I managed to follow the line of Christophe Soumillon (Karaktar’s jockey) and my horse picked up really well in the closing stages.”

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