Tin Horse upset the previously undefeated Wootton Bassett, rolling to an impressive two-length victory in the €450,000 Poule d’Essai des Poulains, or French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), at Longchamp May 15.
Wootton Bassett entered the race having won his five starts as a 2-year-old, capping his juvenile season with a victory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I). He earned the title of champion juvenile colt in France for 2010.
Tin Horse entered the Poulains off a third-place finish to Glaswegian in the Prix de Fontainebleau (Fr-III) April 24. Prior to that, the gray/roan son of Sakhee finished in a dead-heat for second in the Lagardere last autumn.
Drawn poorly in post 14 of a 15-horse field, Wootton Bassett went straight to the lead at the break under Paul Hanagan. Angling over to the rail, Wootton Bassett set a fairly quick pace as he led the field through the early stages of the race. He was tracked closely by Havane Smoker and Modern History as Tin Horse and jockey Thierry Jarnet hugged the rail in fourth.
With less than two furlongs to run, Wootton Bassett continued to lead but was showing signs of weakening. Havane Smoker drew alongside Wootton Bassett and the pair matched strides briefly until the longtime leader began to retreat along the rail.
Havane Smoker and jockey Ioritz Mendizabal found themselves on the lead, but it was short-lived. Tin Horse, now in the clear out in the center of the course, was under a full head of steam and quickly blew past Havane Smoker to assume command.
Tin Horse drew away from the field approaching the wire, stopping the clock in 1:36.33. Havane Smoker held on for second by a head over the late-charging Venomous. Wootton Bassett faded to finish fifth.
Tin Horse is trained by David Guillemin for owner/breeder Marquesa de Moratalla, who also had the fourth-place finisher, Temps Au Temps. Tin Horse, who was bred in Ireland, is out of the winning Kendor mare, Joyeuse Entrée.