French handler Francois Doumen gained his first top level success on the Flat in Britain when Siyouma won Saturday's Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. It was a fourth consecutive win for French-trained horses, following on from Rodolphe Collet's three wins with Sahpresa.
Siyouma raced prominently under Gerald Mosse before taking the lead a furlong from home and kept on strongly for a three-quarters of a length success. Elusive Kate ran a good race to be second after stumbling coming out the stalls, and Laugh Out Loud held on for third after making the running.
"She was very well today and she worked very well last week," Mosse said, "so we were pretty confident before we came.
"I was expecting the ground to be a bit softer, which would have helped, but we have been lucky. I had a good pace in front of me and I would say that the race was pretty clear for everyone. She picked up and really went to the line with a lot of potential.
"She is definitely better over a mile -- not because she won today but I have already been saying it to the trainer for a long time. She can go to a mile and a quarter, but a mile is definitely the best for her."
Doumen admitted that the good ground was a cause for concern.
"I was worried about the ground for Siyouma because she is better on softer ground -- every time she works on soft ground she absolutely flies," Doumen said.
"She has been improving throughout the season and when she ran (third) in the (Group 1) Falmouth Stakes in July she was still quite immature as she didn't run much as a three-year-old.
"She is the most satisfactory thing in the world. She is easy to train. She has an easy temperament and is very calm. Gerald said she won with something in hand and nobody will be able to criticize his ride today.
"As she has won easily, she could go for the (Grade 1) E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in two weeks' time -- we could get some cut in the ground there. There is also Japan and Hong Kong to consider. The fact she has won on fast ground today reassures me that we can go there."
The ever-consistent Elusive Kate showed her bravery in her close second-place effort, despite a costly problem at the break.
"She stumbled out of the stalls and her shoe came loose and that has cost her the race I think," jockey William Buick said.
Her trainer, John Gosden, attempted to remove the right front shoe in the winner's enclosure when she came back in before calling for the racecourse farrier to take it off. The foot was then bandaged and she was led off to the unsaddling boxes for further inspection by her lad and trainer.
In other Group 1 action at Newmarket Saturday, Johnny Murtagh landed back-to-back renewals of the Cheveley Park Stakes as Rosdhu Queen blitzed the field to complete a wonderful unbeaten four-timer.
William Haggas' filly has answered every call from a Ripon maiden win, to a listed Newbury event and then the Group 2 Lowther Stakes on her previous outing, when she proved herself over the six furlongs. Murtagh bounced the game filly out from stall 1 on the far side, and the 4-1 chance kept going to collect by one length.
"When you get a two-year-old filly you want to win the Lowther and the Cheveley Park and she has done both," Haggas said. "I could not say enough about her.
"Her coat has gone but she can run and she is a tough and genuine filly.
"I want to enjoy the moment but we will give the (Group 1 One Thousand) Guineas consideration. Why not?
"I didn't think she would stay six furlongs, but she looked as though she was going on again in the Lowther, and that there was more to come. Who knows if she will stay a mile but we will give the Guineas a shot."
"It was very similar to the race at York (the Lowther)," Murtagh said. "She traveled well down the rail on her own, which she didn't seem to mind, and she battled well when Kieren (Fallon on Baileys Jubilee) came to me. She has done it well.
"I was drawn in stall 1, so I just stayed straight. She was on the rail and she wasn't getting any hassle, so she was kind of flowing for the first three or four furlongs.
"When I got to the three-marker, I thought that we would take a bit of catching because she had loads left in reserve. Kieren got to me, but my filly wasn't for passing today.
"She is pretty fast but maybe she will mature over the winter. You just don't know and it's a quick mile here, so I think that she deserves her chance in the Guineas. The Cheveley Park is a great race and has a great record for the Guineas. She can always come back in trip if she doesn't stay, but the One Thousand Guineas is a big race."
Winning Express, supplemented for the Cheveley Park Stakes at a cost of £15,000, repaid that and more when taking second a length shy of the winner.
Ed McMahon, who trains the progressive Camacho filly, regretted that she got going too late.
"I knew we would get every yard of the trip after her run at Salisbury (where she won a listed race over six furlongs on September 6)," McMahon said. "The winner just injected a bit of pace going into the dip, and I am not saying Winning Express was caught flat, but she tends to just switch off. Franny (Norton, jockey) said she was doing her best work at the end, and with another 20 yards, she would have got there. We could be an unlucky loser.
"We will wait and see for next year, I am not sure her breeding would say she would get a mile but she will certainly get seven. That is it for this year and we will wait and see next year."