Continuing on his upward curve, Roman Candle turned in a battling performance to clinch the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud last week. Stepping up in class and trip, the 3yo Le Havre colt delivered in style for trainer Andre Fabre under Mickael Barzalona when winning by a neck after a stunning thrust that saw him overcome a slow start from the gates in the 2100m affair. It was among a number of successes delivered by Godolphin’s French operation where Henri-Alex Pantall also chipped in with a few wins in Listed events. As far as Fabre went, Roman Candle’s win was a good follow up on Morgan Le Faye’s victory in the Group 3 Prix Allez France Longines at ParisLongchamp, which was also gained under Barzalona.
At Saint-Cloud, Roman Candle broke slowly but raced in second for most of the trip before being asked to go in the home stretch where he quickened well to take up the running from Pappalino, who eventually placed a neck behind in second with Starmaniac taking third. Godolphin France representative Lisa- Jane Graffard said: “Roman Candle is a colt with plenty of heart, who tries his hardest. He has done well since his comeback run in the Prix la Force and Andre felt he still wasn’t quite 100% today so hopefully there is more progress to come.” Hinting at the 2100m Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on 2 June as Roman Candle’s next possible target, Graffard added: “A step up in trip could possibly help bring further improvement, but all options are open.
Nothing has been ruled out.” In Group Two action at Saint Cloud, Mer Et Nuages finished third in the Prix du Muguet over a mile in a race won by Plumatic. A few days earlier, Morgan Le Faye collected her second win of the year with another stylish performance that saw her land the 2000m Group 3 Prix Allez France at ParisLongchamp. Ridden by Barzalona, the 5yo Sharmardal mare, also trained by Fabre, did her running for most of it in eighth among the ten runners and then showed a strong turn of foot 400m from home, racing clear to win by two lengths from Tosen Gift with Shahnaza taking third. Graffard said: “That was very, very nice; a very smooth performance. “She is in great form and it is good to see her add a Group Three victory to her Listed win. “She is now reaching maturity, has a great turn of foot and there are lots of options for her between 10f and 12f which Andre Fabre will look at.”
Graffard said Morgan Le Faye could be aimed at the Group 2 Prix Corrida over 2100m at Saint Cloud at the end of May. On the same day at Longchamp, the Charlie Appleby-schooled and William Buick-ridden Ghaiyyath failed to collect a fifth straight success when he finished third behind Waldgeist and Study Of Man in the 2100m Group 1 Prix Ganay. In behind him was bannermate Soleil Marin, trained by Fabre. Appleby said: “William felt Ghaiyyath did not have the turn of foot there on the slower ground. I feel the colt is ready to step up to a mile and a half now. I think staying will be his forte and the sooner we get him up to a mile and a half the better.” Appleby would taste success at Longchamp days later when Jalmoud, partnered by Olivier Peslier, won the keenly contested Listed 2400m Prix de l’Avre by a head from Soft Light, with another Godolphin runner in Khagan finishing third a further half length behind.
Elsewhere in France, the Fabre-trained Inns Of Court won the Listed Prix Servanne over 1200m at Maisons-Laffitte, while Syrtis finished runner-up for the second successive time this year when running in behind Flop Shot in the 1800m Group 3 Prix de Guiche for 3yo colts and geldings at Chantilly. Striking in a race in Hanover, Germany, was French trainer Henri-Alex Pantall who saddled Broderie, winner of the Grosser Preis von Rossmann, a mile Listed event. Broderie won handsomely by over five lengths from Emerita, with Folie De Louise taking third. Pantall enjoyed a triple success in conditions events in France on 5 May with Romantic Heart, Menuetto and Spring Cosmos all winning.