MESSRS John Gosden and Frankie Dettori were in irresistible form at Saint-Cloud on Sunday as Coronet and Mehdaayih righted some wrongs in landing two of the feature contests on a day dominated by horses trained in Britain. Coronet lost out on the bob of a head to Waldgeist in the 2400m Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud 12 months ago and it was close once more, as the gallant grey ran down Ziyad and her own stablemate Lah Ti Dar close home. Gosden said: “We had planned for this race all year after she just missed out last year. “Last year she was in front by the screen but beaten on the line, this year she was behind passing us but in front where it mattered. She’s a very honest filly. “She deserves this first Group One success and they’re two nice fillies. Lah Ti Dar found the ground a little quick for her.” As for Dettori, he was rewarded for his loyalty in sticking by Coronet, a 5yo Dubawi mare whose record in ten previous Group Ones included four seconds, three thirds and a fourth. “Last year she was just beat on the line and she deserved a Group One,” said Dettori, after treating the delighted crowd to a trademark flying dismount.
“She’s had to chase Enable all her life and finally was able to run against horses less competitive than her.” Just 35 minutes earlier, the pair had combined with Mehdaayih, a luckless seventh in the Epsom Oaks on her previous start, to land the Group 2 Prix de Malleret over the same 2400m providing Britain a first success in the contest for 3yo fillies since Time On struck for John Dunlop in 2006. Dettori had intended to be handy but Mehdaayih had other ideas about the urgency of the task at hand leaving the stalls, meaning the pair had to watch on from the rear as Merimbula cut out the running. In that scenario, her eclipsing of the smart Edisa and Merimbula by two lengths was especially notable, with a further five back to the remainder.
Gosden said: “We don’t really tend to quicken like the French fillies are, basically, taught to quicken so I thought we were asking a big question of her but it’s a lovely straight here and she has a lot of class. “She quickened up well in the Cheshire Oaks, it’s a good weapon in her armoury and she’s an improving filly. “Frankie said she gets unbalanced easily so no wonder Epsom didn’t suit her.” Roger Charlton wasn’t rushing to map out immediate targets for Headman after he oozed class to blow away his rivals in the 2000m Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam under Jason Watson. He said: “He’s a good moving horse and doesn’t want soft ground. He’s very big, very powerful and hasn’t raced a lot.
“He was more relaxed today and the travelling has done him a lot of good. He’ll be a nice horse. “I would like to take a patient approach but we’ll be guided by what Prince Khalid would like to do, and Teddy Grimthorpe, to do what is right by the horse.” As striking as the way he breezed past fellow British contender Jalmoud was the manner in which he galloped all the way to the line. Watson, who was registering a first Group win for his boss Charlton, was equally impressed by the Juddmonte homebred son of Kingman. Watson said: “I’ve always thought he would get further but at this stage of his career he’s still showing slight signs of greenness.
“I wanted him to really finish to the line properly and he has done that well. We have plenty of options now and he has shown he has every right to be in these sorts of races.” Earlier, Godolphin’s Art Du Val, winner of February’s Meydan Trophy when previously seen, was the easy winner of the Listed Prix de Saint-Patrick over 1600m for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. The 3yo No Nay Never colt has now landed three of his four starts.