Last year's French Oaks (gr. I) winner Egyptband earned her first win as a 4-year-old Sunday in the Grand Prix de Chantilly (Fr-II) on the undercard of this year's Oaks. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Dixieland Band completed the 1 1/2 miles in a fast time of 2:26.50 on good turf at Chantilly to earn the 3/4-length victory over the Sadler's Wells-sired St. Expedit.
The win marks the first of the year for Egyptband, who in her seasonal debut finished second to Golden Snake in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I). As a 3-year-old, she finished second to Sinndar in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) and third in the Prix Vermeille (Fr-I). Sunday's win improves her career record to four wins from seven starts.
Trained by Criquette Head-Maarek for owner-breeders Wertheimer and Frere, Egyptband is out of Egyptown, by Top Ville. Her third dam, Reine de Saba, won the 1978 French Oaks while trained by Head-Maarek's father, Alec. Olivier Doleuze rode the filly to victory Sunday.
"She had improved a great deal upon her first run when second in the Group I Prix Ganay," Head-Maarek told the French Racing and Breeding Commitee. "Her long time target will be the Arc, but you will see her again soon, in the 2400 meter Group I Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, on July 1st."
Mont Rocher finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the St. Expedit. Chiang Mai came home fourth in the seven-horse field.