Andre Fabre’s Mandaean made a successful leap into group I company with a comfortable 2 1/2-length victory in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) Nov. 12.
The 2-year-old colt became the first group I winner for his sire, Manduro, whose first crop are juveniles this season.
Mandaean, who won his career debut by three lengths on Oct. 16, was sent off as the heavy 3-5 favorite in the field of eight, despite just having the one previous start. Another highly-regarded colt in the field was the German raider Tai Chi, an undefeated son of High Chaparral who was the only group winner in the field, having notched a victory in the Lando-Preis des Winterfavoriten (Ger-III) in his last start.
At the start it was Mirandola who was sent to the front to set the pace. Jockey Maxime Guyon had Mandaean just behind her in second, as Thierry Thulliez kept Tai Chi in the clear on the outside in third.
As the horses entered the back straight, Tai Chi took the lead as Thulliez moved the colt out toward the center of the course. Mandaean continued to hold second, as Mirandola slipped to third.
Tai Chi continued to hold a slight advantage as the field entered the home straight, but Mandaean quickly moved to challenge with two furlongs left to run. The pair dueled briefly for a few strides, but Mandaean soon began to pull away, opening up a clear lead with a furlong and a half to run.
Mandaean continued to hold onto the lead despite racing greenly throughout the final furlong. The colt continually weaved from left to right, racing on his wrong lead as he showed signs of his inexperience.
Despite all of his antics through the final yards of the race, Mandaean was able maintain his advantage, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front. Brocottes closed well to take second, edging Tai Chi by three-quarters of a length.
Final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:20.20 over the heavy going.
Mandaean was bred in England by Darley Stud Management Company and races for Godolphin SNC. He is out of the stakes-winning Darshaan mare, Summertime Legacy, and is a half-brother to the 3-year-old filly Wavering (by Refuse to Bend), winner of the Montjeu Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) in May.