Alain de Royer-Dupre took a second British fillies’ Group One of the season back to France after Shareta fought her way through a rainstorm in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks yesterday
It has become increasingly recognised in recent years that the relaxed Chantilly trainer rarely brings runners across the Channel without believing they are candidates for victory and Shareta was up to the task as she held off a sustained effort from The Fugue by a neck.
A little more was known about De Royer-Dupre’s latest challenge than Giofra, who collected the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July, as she was second behind Germany’s finest export Danedream in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Taking on a field of largely younger fillies will have made a refreshing change for Shareta after she was beaten by Andre Fabre’s Arc hope Meandre in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and her handler believed the wide expanse of the Knavesmire gave him even more cause for optimism.
An earlier shower had seen a marked deterioration in the ground, which saw Shareta supported into 2-1 and The Fugue, who is regularly described by trainer John Gosden as having the feet of a ballerina, sent off an uneasy 7-4 favourite.
However The Fugue had shown an appreciation for York in the Musidora Stakes and she cut into the lead shared by Was and Shareta, whittling the candidates for victory down to two with a furlong remaining.
Christophe Lemaire had the assistance of the stands rail for the Gallic raider and just managed to repel the year-younger The Fugue.
A win for The Fugue would have seen Gosden pass Aidan O’Brien at the head of the British trainers’ championship.
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