Flotilla Bids for Second French Classic Win

Flotilla Bids for Second French Classic Win
Photo: John Gilmore
Flotilla won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches by a neck May 12.
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Flotilla will try to add a second French classic to her record June 16 when she takes on 10 opponents, including dual group I winner Silasol, in the Prix de Diane Longines (Fr-I), or French Oaks, at Chantilly.

Winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf (gr. IT) to conclude her 2-year-old campaign, Flotilla captured the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I), or French One Thousand Guineas, by a neck May 12 at Longchamp. In her 2013 bow, she caught front-runner Esoterique in the closing strides. Both of those wins were contested at a mile.

Trained by Mikel Delzangles for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Mizzen Mast   filly stretches out from that distance for the first time in the 2,100-meter (about 1 5/16-mile) Oaks. Delzangles believes that her strong finish in the Guineas indicates she will have no problem with the longer trip in the Oaks.

"The way she finished off in the Guineas we expect 10 furlongs to suit her," he told England's Press Association.

"I see her as a filly for all the races over a mile and 10 furlongs, but if she proves herself this weekend we may allow ourselves to dream of her getting further.

"If she wins again, the Arc may be something to think about. She's very good."

Andre Fabre sends out Edouard de Rothchild's Esoterique, a Danehill Dancer filly who bested Silasol in the Prix Vanteaux (Fr-III) in her start prior to the Guineas. The trainer is in search of a fifth French Oaks victory following previous wins with Lypharita (1985), Jolypha (1992), Nebraska Tornado (2003), and Golden Lilac (2011).

Trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias will try for his first French Oaks win with Alain and Gerard Wertheimer's Silasol, a Monsun filly. The goal has been the French Oaks since her front-running victory as a 2-year-old in the Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches (Fr-I) last October at Longchamp.

Silasol comes in off a nose victory over French Oaks entrant Alterite in the Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) May 26 at Longchamp.

"Silasol is very well, she worked (June 11) on les Aigles, and we'll just have to see how she goes on Sunday now," Laffon-Parias told Racing Post.

Alterite was third in the Prix Marcel Boussac for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and won the Prix La Camargo in her first start of 2013 before finishing 10th in the French One Thousand Guineas. Owned by United States resident Martin Schwartz, the Literato filly just missed a breakthrough win at the group I level when Silasol collared her in the final strides of the Prix Saint-Alary.

The field also includes Gestut Ammerland's Baltic Baroness (by Shamardal), winner of the Prix Cleopatre (Fr-III) May 15 at Saint-Cloud last time out, and Godolphin Racing's Tasaday (Nayef), a group III-winning juvenile was who third in the French One Thousand Guineas after leading briefly in the final quarter mile.

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