Multiple champion Hurricane Run tasted defeat for only the second time in his career when he was beaten at the wire by the classy 6-year-old French mare, Pride, in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) on Sunday.
Hurricane Run came into the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on a four-race winning streak. His previous start was an impressive seven-length victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) on May 28. The son of Montjeu and jockey Kieren Fallon were heavily favored to continue their winning ways, but Pride and jockey Christophe Lemaire had plenty to say about the outcome.
On rain-softened ground, the French mare was brought with a perfectly-timed late run by her jockey to collar the 1-5 favorite within the shadow of the wire to win by a short head. Laverock, who had won the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) in his last start, made a late move to finish third, two lengths behind the top pair.
The connections of the runner-up were left scratching their heads after Hurricane Run's dull performance. Kieren Fallon told reporters, "Hurricane Run was not himself today, and I was after him after a furlong. He didn't feel the same as usual and ran very flat. Maybe he had a headache or something. If he could talk, I'd love to ask him what was up today."
Sunday's win marked Pride's first victory in a Group 1 event. The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained mare has been "knocking at the door" in many of the world's top races, including narrow defeats in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) last December and the Emirates Airlines Champion Stakes (Eng-I) last October.
Pride is a bay daughter of Peintre Celebre, out of the Alleged mare Specificity. Her female family has produced a number of high-class runners, but has recently been on a hot-streak. Specificity's first foal, the Sky Classic
mare, Specifically, produced the 2006 Stan James One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner, Speciosa. The family also has produced Touching Wood, winner of the St. Leger (Eng-I) and the Jefferson Smurfit Memorial Irish St. Leger (Ire-I).
Owner Sven Hanson, who also bred the mare, stated after the race, "This is a very satisfying victory, and we will now be looking at the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), a race over the Arc weekend, and then Japan and Hong Kong."