Hurricane Run suffered a shock defeat, and only the second of his career, when narrowly beaten by Pride at Saint-Cloud.
Running left-handed for the first time, last year’s Arc de Triomphe hero was caught in the dying strides by Alain de Royer-Dupre’s mare in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Much of the racing world had expected Hurricane Run to have an easy warm-up prior to a tilt at next month’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, but it was not to be.
Christophe Lemaire brought Pride with a well-timed run to snatch the valuable prize by a head, edging out Hurricane Run after Kieren Fallon had fashioned a clear lead aboard the favourite.
Fallon had been niggling Hurricane Run along with half a mile left to run, but the son of Montjeu found his stride entering the straight and seemed to have settled matters when asked to go about his business.
Lemaire conjured a rare turn of foot from Pride however, and she thundered home to gain the day close home, with Laverock a further two lengths away third.
Following the reverse, Fallon indicated that he had never been happy aboard the favourite.
“He was never travelling,” the Irishman said.
“He felt like a different horse to the one that I rode at the Curragh (in the Tattersalls Gold Cup).”
Ladbrokes reacted to the surprise defeat by pushing Hurricane Run out to 5-4 (from 4-5) in the betting for the King George, although spokesman David Williams says the firm still thinks he is the likeliest winner.
“Barring any obvious alternatives Hurricane Run remains the one to beat in the King George,” he said.
“He ran flat and failed to pick up, but we know that if he can recover previous form he can justify his short price.”
Lemaire revealed when he felt he had a chance of causing a major upset on Pride, who was second in last year’s Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket.
“I knew I had a chance once I saw Hurricane Run stopping,” said the jockey.
Earlier in the afternoon, Vodafone Oaks sixth Time On ran out a ready winner of the Prix de Malleret for John Dunlop and Olivier Peslier.
The daughter or Sadler’s Wells had enjoyed dictating matters when running out an impressive winner of the Cheshire Oaks at Chester earlier in the season, and Peslier repeated the trick here.
He took up the running after a couple of furlongs, and having set a steady pace early on, he turned the screw entering the straight and Time On bounded away to secure an easy victory.
Lahudood stuck on well for second place, a long-looking length-and-a-half away, with German challenger Litalia a further four lengths behind in third.
Following her impressive victory, Time On is set to step back up in class, with the Prix Vermeille a likely target.