British invader Darasim, getting the most from a crafty ride by Joe Fanning, provided a front-running romp in the marathon 1 7/8-mile Prix Kergorlay (Fr-II) at Deauville Sunday.
Darasim, off at 16-1, capped a huge weekend for trainer Mark Johnston, whose Pearls of Love won the Galileo Futurity Stakes (Ire-II) at The Curragh Saturday.
In getting the better of some of Europe's top jockeys, Fanning moved Darasim to the lead in the nine-horse field after a half-mile, pushed the 5-year-old Kahyasi gelding along to the straight and then kicked away under strong urging to win by a convincing five lengths. Westerner, ridden by Dominique Boeuf, was second, a nose better than Swing Wing and Olivier Peslier. Clety, ridden by Thierry Thulliez, was fourth. The final time was 3:14.6 on good to soft going.
After setting sensible fractions through the opening mile of the 15-furlong test, Fanning, earning a reputation for his ability as a front-running jockey, asked Darasim for a burst at the head of the straight.
"Joe rode a brilliant race and realized the ground was no worse on the rail than it was further out," Johnston told The Racing Post
. "He is very good if he gets his own way and this was a big step up in class. It was a brilliant race and by far his best race."
Markus Graff owns Darasim, who was bred in Ireland by the HH Aga Kahn's Studs.