WOOTTON Bassett lost his unbeaten record in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp yesterday.
Richard Fahey’s Iffraaj colt had been rerouted to France after failing to make the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of the month, with a setback in early January meaning he missed a few weeks of work.
He was returning to the scene of his finest hour having given his trainer and champion jockey Paul Hanagan a first taste of Group One glory in Paris on Arc day last October and despite being drawn wide in stall 14, he was sent off a hot favourite.
With his hand slightly forced, Hanagan bounced Wootton Bassett out of the stalls and was able to tack right across to the rail.
But he was soon pulling for his head and that would ultimately cost him dear at the business end of the race.
The market leader still held the advantage turning into the straight, but he tired inside the last couple of furlongs and passed the post in fifth place.
Didier Guillemin’s Tin Horse took the victory, quickening up well in the hands of Thierry Jarnet to get the better of the strong-travelling Havane Smoker.
British hopes were also dashed in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches as Andre Fabre’s Golden Lilac maintained her unbeaten record with a superb performance.
The daughter of Galileo showed an electric turn of foot to pick up pacemaker Glorious Sight in the final furlong and win as she liked.
Aidan O’Brien’s Wild Wind stayed on to finish third.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved