Unbeaten Avenir Certain Takes French Classic

Unbeaten Avenir Certain Takes French Classic
Photo: John Gilmore
Avenir Certain wins the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
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Avenir Certain unwound a powerful late rally and was an impressive winner of the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, French One Thousand Guineas) May 11 at Longchamp. 

The 3-year-old daughter of Le Havre had to wait out a lengthy steward's inquiry, however, before being declared the winner to stay unbeaten in four career starts in her stakes debut for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
 
Queen Catrine dictated the pace, with J Wonder appearing ideally positioned and traveling well as Avenir Certain bided her time in midfield under Gregory Benoist.
 
J Wonder was ridden to take charge when Queen Catrine gave way over a furlong out, but her advantage did not last long when Benoist called on Avenir Certain. She accelerated clear in a move that prompted the inquiry.  
 
Veda closed for second inside the final furlong, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner after being held up from her wide draw in post 15 in the 16-horse field. Xcellence finished third, another 2 1/2 lengths back.
 
Favorite Lesstalk in Paris never threatened in a 12th-place finish.
 
Bawina finished fourth, followed by Stellar Path, This Time, J Wonder, Al Thakhira, Wonderfully, Indonesienne, Queen Catrine, Lesstalk In Paris, Ice Love, Straight Thinking, Mintaka, and Cape Factor.
 
"What can I say? She's a crack filly," Rouget told Racing Post about Avenir Certain after the race. "There's no reason she wouldn't stay the distance in the Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks). But I just want to enjoy this."
 
Avenir Certain, who is owned by Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand, made her career bow Oct. 8 at Bordeaux Le Bouscat, winning by two lengths. She followed with a one-length triumph in an allowance race Oct. 31 at Chantilly to conclude the year. The Guineas was a tremendous step up in the class for the bay filly, who was much the best in the French classic.
 
Bred in France by Elisabeth Vidal, Avenir Certain is from the first crop of 2009 Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I, French Derby) winner Le Harve. Her dam is the Mark of Esteem mare Puggy, who was group-placed in England and Norway. The dam is from the family of German group I winner Warrsan and English and French group winner Blue Monday, twice group I-placed in England. Rouget bought Avenir Certain for $58,604 at the 2012 Arqana October yearling sale.

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