was awarded the win in the Preis von Europa (Ger-I) Sept. 22 at Cologne following the stunning disqualifications of respective first- and second-place finishers, Meandre
, for interference.
As race favorite Meandre took charge in the straight with Empoli in pursuit, Earl of Tinsdale was impeded. Meandre continued on and fought off the dogged bid from Empoli and the pair crossed the finish line as the initial winner and runner-up. Vif Monsieur followed as a well-beaten third, three lengths behind Empoli, and Earl Tinsdale was fourth, another two lengths back.
Racing Post reports that Vif Monsieur's rider, Koen Clijmans, told officials his mount was traveling well until the interference occurred.
After a lengthy review of the race, Meandre and Empoli were disqualified and Vif Monsieur, the second-longest shot in the seven-horse field, was credited with the victory, his first at the top level. Earl of Tinsdale was elevated to second while Meandre was placed third and Empoli fourth.
Time for Preis von Europa's 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) was 2:29.88.
The connections of Meandre, who crossed the finish line a neck in front of Empoli, plan to appeal his disqualification. A multiple group I winner campaigned by Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov and trained by Arslangirey Shavuev, he will continue with preparations for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) Oct. 6 at Longchamp.
Meandre's jockey, Adrie de Vries, and Empoli's rider, Andreas Starke, drew one-day suspensions.
A 3-year-old Doyen colt owned by Frank Maria Van Gorp and trained by Jens Hirschberger, Vif Monsieur has won half of his eight career starts.
As a classics contender earlier this year, Vif Monsieur finished 15th, beaten 23 1/4 lengths, in the Sparda 144 Deutsches Derby (Ger-I, German Derby) in July. The colt bounced back to win a listed stakes at about 1 1/4 miles Aug. 4 at Dusseldorf and followed with a fourth-place finish in the Grosser Preis des Audi Zentrums Hannover (Ger-III) Aug. 18 in his start prior to the Preis von Europa. His 2013 season began with a win in the Fruhjahrs-Preis des Bankhauses Metzler-Stadtrat Albert von Metzler-Rennen (Ger-III) April 28 at Frankfurt.
Vif Monsieur was bred in Germany by Ursula Herberts and is out of the winning Big Shuffle
mare Vive madame
He is the second group winner this weekend for sire Doyen, a 13-year-old son of Sadler's Wells
, who stands for Darley at Sunnyhill Stud in Ireland after stints at Dalham Hall Stud and Gestut Auenquelle. Five-year-old son Camborne
won the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (Ire-III) Sept. 21 at Newbury.