Announce wins the Prix Jean Romanet

Announce wins the Prix Jean Romanet

John Gilmore

Announce Leads Sweep for Juddmonte in Romanet

Announce edged Timepiece to win the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) at Deauville.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm earned another one-two sweep in a group I race when Announce held off Timepiece by a short neck to capture the $359,775 Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) at Deauville Aug. 21.

It was the second such sweep in less than a week for Juddmonte. On Aug. 17, Twice Over outlasted Midday to win the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York.

The Romanet lost a major contender late last week when Snow Fairy was barred from running due to a minor technicality in the French rules of racing. As a result, a small field of five went to the post, led by the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Timepiece. The 4-year-old Timepiece won the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (Eng-I) two starts back, and entered the Romanet off of a third-place finish to Goldikova in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I).

Andre Fabre sent out Announce, the other half of the Juddmonte entry. The chestnut filly by Selkirk, who was making her group I debut, boasted a record of four wins from eight starts entering the Romanet. She most recently finished fourth in the Grand Prix de Vichy (Fr-III) July 20.

Lily Of The Valley broke sharply and shot right to the front, as jockey Christophe Soumillon struggled to get the headstrong filly to relax. They were joined by Fleur Enchantee, with Timepiece settled just behind the front pair by Tom Queally. Maxime Guyon had Announce just behind her in fourth as Divine Music trailed the field.

The order remained unchanged throughout the early stages of the race, with Timepiece easing into second as the fillies swept into the turn. With two furlongs remaining, Lily Of The Valley was under an all-out drive by Soumillon to hold her lead. Timepiece, still under a hand ride by Queally, cruised past her and took command a furlong from the wire.

Announce, under strong urging by Guyon, came charging up on the rail and soon joined Timepiece on the lead. The two fillies dueled to the wire, with Announce edging past Timepiece in the final strides for the victory.

Lily Of The Valley held on for third, another 2 1/2 lengths back. Final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:10.90 over a course listed as good.

Teddy Grimthorpe, the racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, told reporters afterwards, “It’s nice to see Announce come back to her best; Andre has always had a high opinion of her. We’ve got no complaints with the result; it is a fantastic result for Juddmonte. It’s sad Snow Fairy didn’t run; it’s important to have the best horses running in group Is to keep the quality. It’s a pity.”

Regarding future plans for Announce, trainer Fabre said, “The plan will be the Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I), as long as the ground is suitable.”

Announce was bred in England by her owner. She is the first foal out of the winning Gone West mare Hachita, and hails from the immediate family of Zafonic and Zamindar.