Regal Parade earned his second group I victory with a determined effort to take the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Fr-I) at Deauville Aug. 8.
Victorious in the Betfred Sprint Cup (Eng-I) last September, Regal Parade notched his 10th win in 33 career starts for trainer David “Dandy” Nicholls in the Maurice de Gheest. The 6-year-old gelding entered the race off a three-length victory in the Shadwell Stakes (Eng-III) at Newbury last month.
The Aga Khan’s Varenar broke sharply and went straight to the lead under Gerald Mosse. The 4-year-old chestnut was tracked closely by Prime Defender and Alverta, with favored Joanna running comfortably in fourth. Jockey Adrian Nicholls had Regal Parade placed in midfield, on the outside and in the clear.
The swift pace took its toll on Varenar, who began to fade two furlongs from home. Nicholls had Regal Parade under a strong drive, and the gelding moved up quickly to challenge for the lead. He was followed by Joanna as the pair joined Chopouest at the front.
Chopouest held the lead briefly but was no match for either Regal Parade or Joanna, and quickly folded. Regal Parade took the lead inside the final furlong and stubbornly held off Joanna for a neck victory.
Longshot High Standing, who encountered traffic problems throughout the race, had to settle for third, four lengths further back.
Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:16.80 over the good to soft going.
Winning trainer Nicholls said of Regal Parade after the race, “He loves to get his toe in and I think experience played a role to beat the 3-year-old filly. He looked superb and the staff has done a great job.
“The plan now is the Haydock Sprint Cup (Eng-I, Sept. 4).”
Regal Parade is a son of Pivotal and is out of the winning Kingmambo mare Model Queen. Bred in England by Highclere and Harry Herbert and owned by Dab Hand Racing, Regal Parade hails from the same female family as champions Zafonic, Reams of Verse, and Elmaamul.