Meandre Decisive Winner at Longchamp
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 3:30:38 PM
Last Updated: 7/19/2011 4:46:40 PM
Meandre wins the Grand Prix de Paris.
Meandre benefitted from a perfectly-timed ride by Maxime Guyon as he stormed past Seville in the final yards to capture the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) at Longchamp July 14.
The 3-year-old son of Slickly defeated the winners of both the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I, Treasure Beach) and Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I, Reliable Man), and provided trainer Andre Fabre with his eleventh victory in the race.
Much of the pre-race attention had focused on the match up between Treasure Beach and Reliable Man. Seville, who along with Treasure Beach was one of three colts in the race trained by Aidan O’Brien, was also highly-regarded off of his strong second-place finish in the Irish classic.
Seville broke sharply and was sent straight to the front by Seamie Heffernan. They were followed by Colm O’Donoghue aboard Treasure Beach, with Meandre and Maxime Guyon tracking in third. Gerald Mosse was content to rate Reliable Man in fourth, with Bubble Chic, Marksmanship, and Kreem content to trail.
Seville continued to have things his own way on the front end throughout much of the race, as the field of seven raced in single-file through the first mile of the contest. Seville was tracked closely by Treasure Beach, and that pair soon opened up several lengths on the rest of the field. Meandre continued in third, with Reliable Man racing in fourth.
With just over two furlongs to run, Seville continued to lead, but was now being pushed along by Heffernan. Treasure Beach was beginning to fade as Meandre, under a strong drive by Guyon, flew past the Irish Derby winner and set his sights on Seville.
Seville continued to cling to a two-length lead with a furlong to go, but Meandre was in full flight out in the center of the course, and swept past the longtime leader in the final yards to win easily by 1 1/2 lengths.
Reliable Man closed late to nip Treasure Beach for third, finishing another three lengths behind Seville. Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:26.63 over the good to soft going.
The Grand Prix de Paris marked the first group I victory for Meandre, who had only run in listed company previously. Fabre, who supplemented Meandre to the race, told reporters afterwards, “He doesn’t do much in the mornings, but he does on the track and I thought he would run well.”
O’Brien was pleased with the efforts of Seville and Treasure Beach, saying, “They both ran very well. They had a tough race last time, and Treasure Beach will have a break now; he’s a solid horse. Maybe I ran him back a bit quick.”
Meandre was bred in France and races as a homebred for the Rothschild Family. He is the first foal out of Penne, a stakes-placed daughter of Sevres Rose.
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