Speedy Natagora thrills Bray

Natagora booked her ticket to the Prix Morny with victory in the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte.

Natagora booked her ticket to the Prix Morny with victory in the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte.

The Pascal Bary-trained filly was beaten on her first start at Saint-Cloud in May but notched a fourth win on the bounce here, having claimed a Group Three at this track earlier in the month.

Natagora kept on well to see off Italian raider Magritte by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Christophe Lemaire, with British raider Strike The Deal coming late to claim third.

Bary was registering a third win in the five-and-a-half-furlong feature, having taken it in 2003 with Much Faster before sending out subsequent five-time Group One winner Divine Proportions to score a year later.

And while Bary was not keen to compare this filly with Divine Proportions, who also won the French 1000 Guineas and Oaks during an illustrious career, Lemaire was quick to draw on their similarities.

“She reminds me of a certain filly – Divine Proportions,” said Lemaire.

“It is difficult to say whether she has progressed because she may have been this good when she started her career.

“She is a filly of great quality.”

Bary was satisfied with Natagora’s performance and now plans to tackle the Prix Morny, a race he also won with Divine Proportions.

“She was very professional and resisted until the end,” he said. “She will go for the Prix Morny at Deauville (August 19).

“However, I will not compare the two fillies as they are of a different generation.”

William Hill reacted to Natagora’s victory be cutting her price for the Stan James 1000 Guineas from 33-1 to 20s.

Jeremy Noseda’s Strike The Deal was the pick of the British raiding party with Art Advisor, New Jersey and Major Eazy finishing fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Stormy River is also set to run at Deauville next month after landing the Group Three Prix Messidor.

The Nicolas Clement-trained four-year-old was a consistent performer last year, finishing third in the French 2000 Guineas and second in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before landing a deserved Group One success in the Prix Jean Prat.

Although he disappointed in Dubai and could finish only third in the Prix d’Ispahan, Stormy River was back on top for Thierry Thulliez.

The colt swept down the outside of the field to beat Satri, with Andre Fabre’s Multiplex, who had vied with the winner for favouritism, back in third.

“He ran a very fine race and I had no problems in dropping him out to the back because he was travelling really well,” said Thulliez.

“Hopefully now we can improve on our performance (fourth) in last year’s Prix Jacques le Marois (at Deauville on August 12).”

Godolphin’s Notability was prominent early on but faded quickly once the pace was upped and finished second-last of the seven runners under Kerrin McEvoy.

“Notability found the ground, which had dried up during the afternoon, too fast and did not let himself down on it,” stable representative Diana Cooper told www.godolphin.com.

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