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27 Sep 2018
Issue Number: Issue 648
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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Nocturnal Fox wins on step up in class, while Musis Amica thrills in defeat


It turned out to be a nerve wracking finish but Nocturnal Fox continued on his upward curve when claiming a game victory in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart at Chantilly on June 17. The 3yo Farhh colt trained by Andre Fabre had shed his maiden status a month earlier, and showed he had improved as he lined up alongside tougher opponents while simultaneously stepping up in class and trip in the 2400m event. Nocturnal Fox broke well was raced in fourth in an eight strong field by Mickael Barzalona for most of the race. He was asked to change gears and moved up to hit the front over a furlong from home and stayed on well in the closing stages thwarting a late challenge by Al Mahouf to prevail by a head.

Godolphin’s France representative Lisa-Jane Graffard said: “Nocturnal Fox is improving all the time and has a great temperament, so we hope that there is more to come from him. “The Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris could be an option but we will see how he comes out of the race before making any plans.” Trainer Fabre and Barzalona could have enjoyed a double on the day at Chantilly, but Musis Amica fell just short in the Group 1 Prix de Diane, the French Oaks. Winner of the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte in April, Musis Amica ran a remarkable race quickening strongly from the rear to snatch second in the 2100m contest. The daughter of Dawn Approach, stepping up in trip for Andre Fabre after coming home sixth in the 1600m Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, fell back and was the last of 13 runners.

However, Barzalona managed to swing her around the rest of her rivals in the French Classic for 3yo fillies and with just over 400m left she flew to the finish but was denied by a short-head by Laurens. Graffard commented: “Musis Amica is a very laid back filly, who finishes her races strongly, and it was an extraordinary effort from her to finish second. “We will certainly be looking at the options over a mile and a half for her now. We will see how she comes out of the race before deciding where to go next, but it was great to see her run so well against some very strong opposition.”

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