Favored Natagora dictated the pace and then held off all challengers in spite of tiring in the final furlong to register a half-length victory in the stanjamesuk.com One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) contested at Newmarket May 4.
Coming into the race, there were questions about the gray filly's ability to handle the added distance of the one-mile Classic. The French-bred made all for jockey Christophe LeMaire at odds of 11-4 and, though tiring in the final furlong, valiantly held off the late-running Spacious and three others.
The runner-up, guided by Jamie Spencer, had every chance to catch the winner in the final 100 yards but came up short. Spacious another half-length to the 20-1 shot Saoirse Abu and Kevin Manning in third.
Natagora, a daughter of Divine Light owned by Stefan Friborg, was winning trainer Pascal Bary's first runner in the race since Six Perfections lost in a much-troubled effort in 2003.
“She showed so much early speed, the difficult thing was that I wanted to get a good position without too much effort," Lamaire told Racing Post. "She gave me her all and is a fantastic filly.”
Infallible finished fourth while Nahoodh was an unfortunate fifth. Nahoodh's big late run was stopped 100 yards from the wire when jockey Richard Hughes ran out of room and was unable to recover. Little more than a length and a quarter separated the first fine finishers.
Bertrand Gouin and Georges Duca bred Natagora, who is out of the Linamix mare Reinamixa.
The final time was 1:38.99 on good to firm turf. Completing the order of finish in the 15-horse field: Lush Lashes, Royal Confidence, Muthabara, Kitty Matcham, Savethelastdanceforme, Max One Two Three, Lady Deauville, Laureldean Gale, Spinning Lucy and Francesca d'Gorgio.
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