Richard Hannon claimed a third Group One success of the season as Havana Gold took Chantilly’s Prix Jean Prat in the hands of Mickael Barzalona.
With Jamie Spencer, the first-choice jockey for owners Qatar Racing, preferring the claims of Anna’s Pearl, it allowed Barzalona to come in for the mount aboard the Irish 2000 Guineas fourth, who had chased Toronado home in the Craven Stakes first time out this season.
Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Style Vendome, running for the first time since his purchase by leading owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, was never able to land a blow and finished back in fourth.
Pacemakers Mondialiste and Top Chill set off at a rapid gallop and quickly had the field stretched out. Behind the pace, San Marino Grey travelled powerfully for jockey Maxime Guyon and the Andre Fabre-trained runner threw down his challenge to go past US Law over a furlong out. But he proved no match in the final 100 yards for Havana Gold, whose rider Mickael Barzalona performed a typically extravagant celebration despite holding on by only a head. The winner was sent off at 10/1 on the pari-mutuel. but just 6/1 with British bookmakers.
David Redvers, racing manager to the Qatar operation, said: “He deserved it, and he won it like a horse that deserved it. It’s great.
“We are absolutely thrilled. It’s one of the highlights of our time for Qatar Racing to do that here with that horse. He was the king of the paddock walking round and was the king on the racecourse, so we’re delighted.
“I’ve got to talk to Richard (Hannon) about plans. He’s convinced he’ll stay further, but he’s good at a mile so we will just have to see what we come up with. The Jacques le Marois is a possibility, but equally there are other races as well. We’ll probably look at something over a stiff mile for him.”
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