Dream Ahead completed a perfect weekend for jockey William Buick when he pulled away in the final furlong to capture the Darley Prix Morny (Fr-I) at Deauville Aug. 22. Less than 24 hours earlier, Buick had piloted Debussy (IRE) to an upset victory over champion Gio Ponti in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) in Chicago.
Sent off at odds of 8-1, Dream Ahead entered the Prix Morny off a nine-length maiden win at Nottingham in July. Favoritism went to the Richard Hannon-trained Libranno, who was undefeated in three previous starts including victories in the Tanqueray Richmond Stakes (Eng-II) and the TNT July Stakes (Eng-II).
The field of 11 juveniles broke into two separate flights after the break, with Monsieur Le Prince leading one group out in the center of the course and Libranno in front a second group that raced closer to the stands’ side rail. Dream Ahead rated comfortably under Buick, who tracked Monsieur Le Prince through the early stages of the race.
Monsieur Le Prince and Libranno continued to vie for the lead until the two-furlong marker, when the two flights converged. Libranno took over at the front as Monsieur Le Prince began to fade. His lead was short-lived however, as Dream Ahead, swung to the outside by Buick, accelerated quickly past Libranno to take command within the final furlong.
Dream Ahead drew off to post a 1 1/2-length victory. Tin Horse came charging late to take second, finishing a neck in front of Pontenuovo. Libranno faded to sixth.
Final time for the six furlongs was 1:09.60 on a course rated good.
The Prix Morny marked the first group I victory for trainer David Simcock, whose biggest success prior to this came courtesy of Bushman in the Diomed Stakes (Eng-III) in June.
“I’ve always liked him,” Simcock said of Dream Ahead. “He’s a very mature and scopey horse.”
Dream Ahead is a 2-year-old colt by Diktat out of Land of Dreams, by Cadeaux Genereux. Bred by Darley in Kentucky, Dream Ahead is owned by Khalifa Dasmal. The bay colt was consigned by Bluewater Sales, agent, to the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he sold for $11,000 to Federico Barberini, agent.