No Denying Pastorius in Stylish Prix Ganay

The German Derby winner overtook Maxios to win by a length in his season opener.

The Prix Ganay (Fr-I), the first top-level race of the European season April 28, was won in style by last year's German Derby (Ger-I) winner Pastorius at Longchamp.

Stall Antanando's 4-year-old colt from the first crop of Soldier Hollow was a two-time group I winner in 2012 and finished fourth to Frankel in the QIPCO Champion Stakes (Eng-I) to cap last season. He opened his 2013 campaign as a comfortable one-length victor of the Prix Ganay, defeating recent Prix d'Harcourt (Fr-II) winner Maxios and Australian champion Dunaden.

With Olivier Peslier at the reins for trainer Mario Hofer, Pastorius raced in third as stablemate and half brother Point Blank set the early tempo. Maxios took control from Point Blank with less than a quarter mile to run, but he could not hold back Pastorius, who raced strongly on the rail and edged clear a furlong out to prevail.

Maxios hung on for second, a length in front of 2012 BMW Caulfield Cup (Aus-I) winner Dunaden, who rallied strongly from back of the field to take third.

English group I winner Giofra, the 2-1 favorite with Racing Post off a third in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) last month, raced in fourth early on the inside and finished in the same position, another length behind Dunaden.

Pastorius was timed in 2:08.39 for 2,100 meters (about 1 5/16 miles) on turf rated as good. He boosted his record to seven wins and a second from 14 career starts.

In addition to his German Derby win last season, Pastorius also won the Grosser Dallmayr-Pries-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (Ger-I).

"I thought he might need it as it was his first race of the season," Hofer told Racing Post. "It's his third group I and I really think as a 4-year-old we'll have a lot of fun with him."

David Redvers, racing manager for Dunaden's owner Pearl Bloodstock, said a trip to Singapore next month was a possibility for the 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) winner but that a European group I win was highly desired.

"Sheikh Fahad's dream is to win a European group I with him and, he's shown today that, with a little more luck in running and a proper English pace there's no reason why he shouldn't," he told Racing Post. "So we'll go back to the drawing board."

Bred in Germany by Franz Prinz von Auersperg u. Florian Haffa, Pastorius is out of the winning Monsun mare Princess Li.