Falco Soars to Victory in French Guineas

A last minute change of plans paid off in a big way for the connections of Falco, as the 20-1 outsider captured the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) by an impressive three lengths at Longchamp May 11.

Trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias had originally considered running the son of Pivotal in the Prix De Guiche (Fr-III) on Chantilly on Tuesday.  Jockey Olivier Peslier convinced Laffon-Parias to change his mind after riding the colt in a racecourse workout last week.  Prior to Sunday’s race, Falco’s only win was registered in his last race, the listed Prix d’Escoville over the same distance and course on April 17.

Peslier settled Falco into fifth position as the Ballydoyle duo of Lucifer Sam and One Great Cat set a torrid pace on the front end.  Falco took command with two furlongs left, and began to draw off, eventually winning by three lengths.

Rio De La Plata held on for second by a head over a hard-charging River Proud.  Yorktown was another length further back in fourth.  Time for the mile was 1:35.6 over a good turf course.

River Proud, who has a history of being a bad actor in the starting gate, acted up and refused to load into stall 14.  Once loaded, he again threw a fit, so much so that he damaged the stall and had to be moved to stall 20, the widest of all.  River Proud made up a tremendous amount of ground to only be just beaten for second.

Falco, who is out of the Unbridled mare, Icelips, races as a homebred for the Wertheimer Brothers.  He is a half-brother to the stakes winning filly, Iron Lips.

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