Meandre in Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud Surprise

Andre Fabre trainee upsets Danedream June 24, earns berth in Breeders' Cup Turf.

Andre Fabre’s Meandre sprang a mild upset when he cruised to an impressive 1 1/4-length victory in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) at Saint-Cloud June 24. Danedream, the 2011 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner, disappointed and came home last.

Meandre, a 4-year-old colt by Slickly, earned an automatic berth in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park since the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud is part of the "Win and You’re In" series sponsored by the Breeders’ Cup.

Four runners went to the post in the Saint-Cloud, after the defection of Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) and Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-IT) winner Cirrus des Aigles. Although it was small on quantity, the field was not lacking quality, with last year’s Arc winner Danedream set to make her second start of the season.

Also in the field was Galikova, who was making her seasonal debut. The Freddy Head trainee had stepped out of big sister Goldikova’s shadow last year after winning the Qatar Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) last September.

Rounding out the field was Shareta, a progressing filly who had been second to Danedream in the Arc. The daughter of Sinndar most recently suffered a narrow nose loss in the Prix Corrida (Fr-II) May 28.

At the start it was Shareta who went to the front while Danedream galloped along in second, with Meandre and Galikova trailing.

The order remained the same through the early stages of the race. With two furlongs left to run, jockey Maxime Guyon asked Meandre for more and the response was immediate with the colt accelerating past Danedream and Shareta to take the lead.

Shareta attempted to keep up but was no match for Meandre, as the gray colt powered home to win easily. Shareta held on for second by 1 1/2 lengths over Galikova, who passed a tiring Danedream to take third.

Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:31.50 over a course listed as good to soft.

After the race Guyon told reporters, “He felt very good today; we had a good spot on the rail behind Shareta and he showed good acceleration. He’s a horse who hardens with racing so his first races in the season were understandably nothing special, but he’s proved he can win very good races.”

Meandre was bred in France and races as a homebred for the Rothschild family. He is the first foal out of Penne, a stakes-placed daughter of Sevres Rose.