Kentucky-bred filly Divine Proportions accelerated away from the field in the final stages to win the Prix Robert Papin (Fr-II) for 2-year-olds at Maisons-Laffitte handily Sunday.
Kept in close proximity to the leaders by Christophe Lemaire, the Flaxman Holdings-bred daughter of Kingmambo
-Myth to Reality (Sadler's Wells) felt the crack of the whip a couple of times from Lemaire with more than a furlong to go. She responded along the inside to soon edge to the front, widening out for a one-length victory.
The Niarchos Family's bay overtook Italian filly Shifting Place in the final eighth of a mile. The final time for the five-furlong Papin was 1:04.8 on good going. Another American-bred filly, Sheikh Mohammed's Darley-bred Portrayal, was third with Gary Stevens aboard, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up. Portrayal was a nose better than the French-bred filly Great Blood.
Divine Proportions showed an excellent closing kick Sunday, convincing racing manager Alan Cooper that she should go on to the longer Prix Morny (Fr-I) Aug. 22 at Deauville. If she were to win that race, she would be the first to sweep the Prix du Bois, Robert Papin and the Morny since Arazi in 1991.
"She has certainly learnt a lot today and showed excellent acceleration," he told Racing Post
. "Divine Proportions has an excellent temperament and will be entered in all the top races including the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket."
Winning trainer Pascal Bary added, "Divine Proportions showed me a lot of quality very early on. She stays, has a lot of speed and will get a mile. The filly is a true professional."
Though he had to shake her up, Lemaire said he was never concerned.
"I gave her a few taps and she needed a little time before accelerating," he said. "She is truly top class and must now take on an international field as she has already beaten the best in France."
Salut Thomas, Sunny Sky, Molto Bello and Gold Marie completed the order.