Dick Turpin finally gained the first group I victory of his career with a breakout performance in the Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I) at Chantilly July 4.
The Richard Hannon-trained colt, who had finished second in three consecutive group I contests, took command two furlongs from home and cruised to an easy four-length victory under Richard Hughes.
The eight-furlong contest was expected to be another showcase for Lope De Vega, the Andre Fabre-trained colt who was very impressive when capturing the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) and Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I) in the spring. The son of Shamardal was sent off as the heavy favorite to add another group I success to his already impressive resume.
Altair Star, the stablemate of Lope De Vega, was sent to the front immediately from the start and set a rapid pace. Lope De Vega was hot on his heels in second, with Dick Turpin tracking the leaders from third.
Two furlongs out, Altair Star threw in the towel. Lope De Vega took command and appeared poised to go on for the victory. But Dick Turpin was mounting his challenge and quickly drew alongside Lope De Vega.
An anticipated battle never materialized, however. Lope De Vega could find nothing more in the tank and began to fade, eventually being eased in the final furlong and finishing last.
In the meantime, Dick Turpin had turned on the afterburners and opened up a five-length lead on the field. He won easily while being geared down by Hughes.
Siyouni ran on well to take second by a head over Xtension. Final time for the mile was 1:36.30 over good to soft going.
An ecstatic Hughes told reporters after the race, “He deserved to win a group I, and he’s run some brilliant races. You get some horses like that which never get to win one and finish second all the time. But it’s great now, he’s broken his duck, the pressure is off.”
Dick Turpin improved his record to six wins from 11 starts for owner John Manley. The 3-year-old bay colt is by Arakan out of Merrily, by Sharrood. He was bred in Ireland by John McEnery.