Make Believe produced a smart performance to give Andre Fabre his sixth win in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) when making all from his stablemate New Bay at Longchamp yesterday.
Olivier Peslier had the son of Makfi smartly out of the stalls and was soon in command on the far rail.
Mr Owen tried to put in a strong bid in the straight, but Make Believe continued to gallop on resolutely to win impressively. New Bay made eyecatching late headway from his wide draw to snatch second place ahead of Mr Owen, with Frankie Dettori’s mount Karar fourth.
Highland Reel broke well for Ryan Moore but could never build on his good early position and Aidan O’Brien’s representative finished only sixth.
Ted Voute, racing manager for owner Prince Faisal, said of the three-length winner: “We’re just delighted. Olivier Peslier rode a fantastic race.
“We were drawn very well, which helped in that situation, and the second horse ran a tremendous race from where he was drawn.
“It was typical of Andre Fabre. He told us the horse would run well and he’s done even better than he forecast.
“He seemed to like the ground as well. It’s just good ground here.
“I would suspect that the Prince and Andre will sit down and discuss probably going to Royal Ascot (for the St James’s Palace Stakes).”
Peslier said: “He is a nice colt, tough and very strong. I took advantage of the rail to get a good position, and he just went on and on, right to the post.”
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to New Bay’s owner Khalid Abdullah, outlined the French Derby as the next target.
He said: “New Bay quickened really well in the final straight, but the outside draw was a handicap.
“We hope to run in the Prix du Jockey Club.”
Dettori said of Karar: “He pulled a lot today, but he finished well to take fourth. The bad draw on the outside didn’t help.”
The Charlie Hills-trained Muhaarar ran with credit to be eighth having been drawn widest of all in stall 18, one place behind O’Brien’s other runner, War Envoy.
O’Brien said of Highland Reel: “Ryan just said he travelled well in the first half of the race and then just felt ring-rusty when he let him down.”
War Envoy’s rider Colm O’Donoghue said: “I think he will need probably further next time.”
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