Eleven Will Square off in Prix de l'Opera
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 9/30/2011 1:00:53 PM
Last Updated: 10/1/2011 10:45:23 AM
An evenly-matched field of 11 fillies will go to the post in the $475,888 Qatar Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I) at Longchamp Oct. 2.
Trainer Andre Fabre will send out the only group I winner in the field when he saddles Juddmonte Farms’ Announce. The 4-year-old daughter of Selkirk seeks to build on the success of her last start, which resulted in a victory in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) in August. In that race, she defeated fellow Juddmonte runner Timepiece, and 2010 Prix de l’Opera winner, Lily of the Valley.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Prince Khalid Abdullah, expressed confidence that Announce would do well, telling the press, “She’s had a good season and after Deauville this has always been the plan. It will be a competitive race, and it’s certainly interesting.”
Announce will break from post five with Maxime Guyon in the saddle.
Jim Bolger’s Banimpire hopes to finally break through and win her first group I race. The tough-as-nails daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has won half of her 14 career starts, 10 of which have come during her sophomore campaign. Banimpire won both the Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) and the Keeneland Royal Whip Stakes (Ire-II) this season, and came to within a short head of defeating Blue Bunting in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) in July. Kevin Manning will be aboard Banimpire, who will break from post eight.
The lightly-raced Nahrain will take a big step up when she faces group I company for the first time in the Opera. Roger Varian trains the 3-year-old daughter of Selkirk, who is undefeated in three career starts. Nahrain most recently captured the Coral Distaff, a listed event which was over eight furlongs at Sandown Park. Frankie Dettori will be aboard for the first time.
Germany will be represented by the multiple stakes winner, Djumama. Trained by Andreas Lowe, the daughter of Aussie Rules has won three of her six lifetime starts, which have all been in stakes company. In her only previous start at the group I level, Djumama finished a good second to Dancing Rain in the Preis der Diana-German Oaks (Ger-I) Aug. 7. Andreas Helfenbein will be in the irons.
The remainder of the field consists of I'm A Dreamer (who is listed as doubtful), Sandy's Charm, Shamardanse, Haya Landa, Julie's Love, Glorious Sight, and Epic Love.
$475,888 Qatar Prix de l’Opera (gr. I, race 8, 11:45 a.m. EDT), 3yos & up, fillies and mares, 10 furlongs, turf.
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Nahrain (GB), 123, L. Dettori, R. Varian
2. I’m A Dreamer (Ire), 128, No Rider Listed, D. Simcock
3. Julie’s Love (GB), 123, M. Barzalona, M. Hofer
4. Shamardanse (Ire), 123, F. Bertras, S. Wattel
5. Announce (GB), 128, M. Guyon, A. Fabre
6. Djumama (Ire), 123, A. Helfenbein, A. Lowe
7. Epic Love (Ire), 123, S. Pasquier, P. Bary
8. Banimpire (Ire), 123, K. Manning, J. Bolger
9. Sandy’s Charm (Fr), 123, O. Peslier, F. Rohaut
10. Glorious Sight (Ire), 123, G. Mosse, R. Collet
11. Haya Landa (Fr), 123, F. Blondel, L. Audon
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