Fabre, Soumillon Team for French Group I Wins

Trainer Andre Fabre and jockey Christophe Soumillon had reason to celebrate Sunday's memorable results at Longchamp, where they captured three races, including a pair of group I events.

Vadawina, who outclassed her opponents in the Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I), and Valixir, who drew away from a valiant Elvstroem in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) are both owned by the Aga Kahn, who purchased them from the Lagardere family.

A daughter of Unfuwain, Vadawina rallied with Soumillon along the inside rail to romp by four lengths over Argentina and Perfect Hedge, giving the Belgian rider his first victory in the Saint-Alary. It was the seventh win in the race for Fabre, the champion trainer in France for the past 18 years.

"She is becoming a real racehorse and, if all goes well, Vadawina will run in the Prix de Diane when she's next seen in public," Fabre told Racing Post. "The right-hand track certainly seems to be an advantage for her and I'm so happy for the Prince and the Lagardere breeding."

In the Prix d'Ispahan, the Australian star Elvstroem tried to take them all the way but could not repel the unstoppable Valixir, who won his first group I race.

The son of Trempolino was in reserve along the rail until Soumillon asked him for run in the straight. He finished up nicely and was drawing away from Elvstroem at the end. The latter was several lengths clear as they reached the straight but could not hold on in a strong effort.

Georges Rimaud, representing the Aga Khan, told Racing Post, "Valixir won very nicely and to reduce him in distance was a good idea. To win two group 1s in a day proves the quality of the stock we have purchased. Valixir will now go for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at York."

"He had a lovely run but he is a strange horse to ride," Soumillon said. "Halfway up the straight there wasn't enough room on the rail but then the Australian horse left us a gap and we went. Valixir is a horse who doesn't like contact with others."

The June 15 Prince of Wales is expected to also draw Elvstroem as he continues his European tour.

Fabre and Soumillon also teamed to win the Prix du Palais Royal (Fr-III) with Khalid Abdullah's Art Master. Soumillon employed the same waiting tactics that proved so successful all day. Art Master, a son of Royal Academy, was among the back markers as they reached the straight but used a sweeping late move to register by a half-length over Godolphin's Byron, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori.

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