Odeliz stuns Deauville rivals

Karl Burke’s Odeliz sprung a huge surprise when making every yard of the running to win the Darley Prix Jean Romanet in Deauville yesterday.

Odeliz stuns Deauville rivals

The five-year-old mare had seemingly had her limitations exposed in top-class company before but she had won a Group Three in Germany on her penultimate outing.

Up against last year’s winner Ribbons, David Simock’s Ascot winner Madame Chiang and a host of top-class French fillies such as We Are, Avenir Certain and Bawina, though, she was expected to find the going tough.

Adrie de Vries made every yard on the five-year-old and though it looked like she could get swamped as Bawina, Ribbons and Avenir Certain came to challenge, she kept on pulling out more.

Ribbons’ challenge flattened out inside the final furlong and Avenir Certain came sweeping past her but she could not catch the front two.

Bawina drew level at one stage but Burke’s charge pulled out more to give the trainer a second Group One victory in France after Lord Shanakill’s Prix Jean Prat success in 2009.

“I’ve always thought she could win one of these (Group Ones) if everything dropped right one day but it has dropped right in the strangest circumstances as it wasn’t the plan to make the running,” said Burke.

“Adrie said he would just sit handy but she broke well and nobody wanted to make it so he just let her doss away in front. Turning in I thought she had a chance of being in the three but she battled and battled and hung on.

“This is her trip (10 furlongs), she won a Listed race over it at three but as she got older she got quicker.

“The cheekpieces have brought a bit of improvement out of her over a mile so I was keen to see if they would over this trip and it appears they have.

“Adrie won the Group Three in Germany on her, I’ve known him for a few years now and his son did work experience with us. I imagine he’ll be on her wherever she goes now.

“Canada (E.P. Taylor Stakes) was the original plan as she was just touched off in it last year but she’ll be entered in the Prix de l’Opera and at Ascot on Champions day now, too. All options are open.”

Frankie Dettori’s golden summer continued apace as Shalaa provided him with another Group One win in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville.

John Gosden’s colt had already impressed in the July Stakes at Newmarket and the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood but this was his first run at the highest level.

He oozed class throughout, though, with Dettori happy to set his own tempo before he was joined at halfway by Richard Hannon’s Gutaifan, with both colts owned by Al Shaqab Racing.

With just over a furlong to run Dettori asked his mount to quicken and despite Gosden’s reservations about running him on rain-softened ground, Shalaa quickened clear to win in style.

Gay Kelleway’s Zebstar was fourth of the five runners.

Paddy Power were impressed and make Shalaa their 10-1 favourite (from 20s) for the 2000 Guineas while RaceBets make him 5-1 favourite for the Commonwealth Cup.

Dettori said “He is the best two-year-old I’ve sat on in my life. I am not exaggerating. He has a lot of speed. In the race he was very relaxed, although he is best left alone like a sprinter.”

Gosden told Jour De Galop: “I thought he was’nt going to love this ground, but he tolerated it. He’s a horse who has a great mind. It is a pleasure to train him. All credit to the owner for having the courage to run. We’ll look to the Middle Park now.”

British trainers were denied a clean sweep of the major races when Mark Johnston’s Oriental Fox was worn down close home by Alex My Boy.

Annoyingly for Johnston he used to train the winner for owner Jaber Abdullah before he was moved to Germany to be handled by Andreas Wohler. The eventual winner was a long way adrift turning into the straight but found another gear close home to prevail by two and a half lengths.

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