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Precious first Classic for Chappet supplied by Precieuse - FRENCH 1000 GUINEAS


Outsider Precieuse stayed on with purpose to foil British raider Sea Of Grace in a tight finish to the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Deauville. The William Haggas-trained Sea Of Grace looked the likely winner of the mile heat, the French equivalent of the 1000 Guineas, with a furlong to run but Precieuse was delivered with a perfectly timed charge by veteran Olivier Peslier. Charm Appeal and Amaani set the early gallop with Christophe Soumillon on Sea Of Grace taking an outside line on the right of the pack down the middle of the track, while Precieuse was settled in behind by Peslier.

As the early leaders dropped back, Sea Of Grace and Precieuse both lined up their challenges on opposite sides of the track, eventually coming together in the shadow of the post, with Peslier’s mount finding extra and pulling clear at the line. Heuristique kept on for third. Winning trainer Fabrice Chappet said: “That was my first Group One winner and in a Classic so I’m obviously very happy. “We will now think about the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. That looks an obvious race.

There is also the option of coming back here for the Prix Rothschild.” Earlier, another British raider, Profitable, had to settle for second when Signs Of Blessing ran out a clear cut winner of the 5f Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges. The Clive Cox-trained Profitable was making his debut in the Godolphin colours having won the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes for previous owner Alan Spence last term and is likely to clash again there with the impressive Signs Of Blessing.

The Francois Rohaut-trained 6yo made light of conceding 11lb to Profitable, making all under Stephane Pasquier to reaffirm his position as one of Europe’s leading sprinters. Last season Signs Of Blessing faded close home to be just run down by Twilight Son and Gold- Fun in the 6f Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot before going on to land the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. “When he’s in this kind of form he can win anywhere,” said Rohaut. “You saw last year that six furlongs up the hill at Ascot is just too far for him, so he’ll run in the King’s Stand.

He’s like his trainer, improving with age.” Clive Cox was more than satisfied with Profitable who, like the winner, was having his first start of the campaign. “That was pleasing first time out,” said Cox. “He’s a had a long winter and I’m pleased. He’ll improve from that first run. Credit to the winner but I’m delighted from my point of view, I think that will put a real edge on him.” Other winners on the card included Sheikh Hamdan’s Murafrif, a homebred daughter of Sea The Stars. A pleasing sixth on debut at Chantilly, on the allweather in early April, she made her first turf start a winning one with a narrow success in a maiden over an extended 1m4f. Trained by Freddy Head and ridden by Jerome Moutard she hails from the same family as Tamayuz, sire of Precieuse.

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15 Feb 2018
Issue Number: Issue 636
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