The accomplished sprinter Whipper, under a confident ride from Christophe Soumillon, won his third group I race at Deauville when he captured the Prix Maurice de Gheest Sunday by a half-length over Goodricke.
Racing in mid-pack behind a solid pace set by stablemate Tycoon's Hill, Soumillon waited until there was less than a quarter-mile run in the 6 1/2-furlong event before moving his 4-year-old colt up between horses. They passed the leaders with a furlong to go and ran on well while holding Goodricke at bay.
It was three lengths back to third-place finisher Patavellian, who edged Lucky Spin by a half-length.
The Robert Collet-conditioned Whipper ran second in last year's Maurice de Gheest behind Somnus, who finished 10th of the 13 runners Sunday without a visible excuse.
Whipper won the Prix Morny (Fr-I) at Deauville two years ago and defeated Six Perfections there in last season's Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I), which was his last previous victory. The Kentucky-bred Whipper was coming off a fourth-place finish in a group III race at Chantilly. Collet blamed a lack of pace for that effort and decided to enter Tycoon's Hill this time as a pacemaker.
Flaxman Holdings Ltd. bred Whipper, a son of Miesque's Son-Myth to Reality (Sadler's Wells) owned by R.C. Strauss.
"This is a wonderful achievement to have won three group I races at Deauville," Collet told Racing Post
. "If he comes out of the race well he will run in next week's Prix Jacques Le Marois.
"The colt probably came with his effort a little early today but he fought really well. Whipper is out of the ordinary and you're lucky if you have just one horse like him in your stable in your career. In truth he was in a better class than the rest."
Soumillon told the publication, "He went very fast from the start and I went early because I knew he would stay every yard of the race. We wanted to burn the others out early on and our planning was good."
Olivier Peslier rode Goodricke, who threw a scare into the winner and refused to fold. "I was pushing him from the start and then suddenly he accelerated for 100 yards up the furlong marker. I did think at one moment I might catch the winner but he just stayed on."
The final time was 1:17.10 on good going.