Satwa Queen Captures for Group I Crown in Prix de l'Opera

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Satwa Queen, the only older runner in the race, collared Promising Lead on the line to win the Prix de l’Opera Casino Barriere d’Enghien Les Bains (Fr-I) at 1 1/4 miles Oct. 27 at Longchamp in France.

Satwa Queen (Muhtathir--Tolga, by Irish River), runner-up in the same race 12 months ago, took her first group I, having won two group III races and a pair of group II contests in a 15-race career.

Held up early on, jockey Thierry Thuilliez brought the consistent Jean de Roualle-trained filly with a sustained run from inside the two-furlong marker. She got past Promising Lead about 10 meters from the finish line and won by a head. The time was 2:03.80 on grass rated good to soft.

“She deserved that and is a champion,” de Roualle said of the 5-year-old mare owned by S. Lamprell and bred in France by Societe Sogir. “She might go to Hong Kong if she gets invited, but I do not know if she will stay in training next year. She is a 5-year-old and has won a group 1, so what more can she do?”

Promising Lead had been settled on the heels of the pace-making Mystic Lips before being asked to take up the running with 1 1/2 furlongs to go. It looked as if jockey Ryan Moore had timed it to perfection, only to fall short from the winner’s late charge. It was only her fifth start, and she was taking a big step up in class after winning a listed event in August.

Third-placed Legerete also came with a late run but had to settle for third, a head behind Promising Lead.

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