Lily Of The Valley Blooms in Prix de l'Opera

Lily Of The Valley notched her first group I win by taking the Prix de l'Opera (Fr-I)

Lily Of The Valley took command in the final 100 yards and was able to hold off her stablemate Stacelita to capture the NYSE Euronext Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I) by three-quarters of a length Oct. 3 at Longchamp.

Jean-Claude Rouget, who trains both the winner and runner-up, said after the race: “I thought she might be able to beat Stacelita. I knew they’d be close together.”

Rouget added that Lily Of The Valley would not run again this year, but would be kept in training with a run in the Arc as her goal for next year.

Ridden patiently by Loritz Mendizabal, Lily Of The Valley raced in third, just behind the early pace set by Antara and Stacelita.  

As the field entered the home straight, Stacelita passed a tiring Antara to take the lead, and appeared to have the race locked up. Lily Of The Valley was in hot pursuit however, and swept past her tiring stablemate in the final yards for the victory.

It was six lengths further back to 40-1 shot Fleur Enchantee, who finished third. The final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:09.80.

The victory was the first in a group I for Lily Of The Valley, who improved her record to six wins from eight starts. The 3-year-old daughter of Galileo has now won six straight races, and remains undefeated this season.

Lily Of The Valley was bred in France by Dunmore Stud, Ltd. She is owned by Bernard Barsi, and is out of the Pennekamp mare, Pennegale.

Misty For Me Impresses in Marcel Boussac

Misty For Me notched her second group I victory with a gutsy performance to take the Total Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium Des Pouliches (Fr-I).

Winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) over seven furlongs in August, Misty For Me found the additional furlong to her liking as she out-fought favored Helleborine in the final yards to claim a one-length victory.

Settled into second by Johnny Murtagh, Misty For Me tracked the early lead set by Mambia. Misty For Me took the lead a furlong from home, but had to withstand the bid of Helleborine, who stormed up to challenge on the outside. Despite being headed at one point, Misty For Me fought back to regain the lead and was able to hold off the favorite for the victory.

Rainbow Springs finished third, three lengths further back. The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:42.50.

Bred in Ireland by March Thoroughbreds and owned by Michael Tabor, Misty For Me is a 2-year-old filly by Galileo out of the unraced Storm Cat mare, Butterfly Cove. Out of the unraced Mr. P’s Princess (by Mr. Prospector), Butterfly Cove is a half-sister to champion Fasliyev (by Nureyev), and is from the immediate family of Menifee and Desert Wine.

Wootton Bassett Remains Undefeated with Lagardere Win

Wootton Bassett made it five wins from as many starts with an impressive front-running performance to take the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I) by 2 1/2 lengths.

The victory gave both trainer Richard Fahey and jockey Paul Hanagan their first career group I wins.

Away quickly under Hanagan, Wootton Bassett went straight to the front and opened up by about a length on the field. King Torus and Whipless raced just behind the leader, as the favorite, My Name Is Bond, was held up toward the rear of the field.

As the field entered the home straight, Wootton Bassett continued to run on strongly, pulling away in the final furlong to win easily  Maiguri and Tin Horse finished in a dead heat for second, with Moonlight Cloud settling for fourth.

The final time for the eight furlongs was 1:23.

Winning trainer Fahey said afterwards: “I knew early on that he was the best I’d ever had. We’ve had a fair few juvenile winners this season, but he’s a long way in front of them all. He has a unique blend of speed and stamina, and one mile will not be a problem next year."

Wootton Bassett is a 2-year-old colt by Iffraaj and is out of the stakes winning Primo Dominie mare, Balladonia. Wootton Bassett is owned by Frank Brady and The Cosmic Cases, and was bred in England by Laundry Cottage Stud Farm. He hails from the female family of champions Silver Patriarch and Papineau.

Gentoo Sails to Prix du Cadran Victory

Gentoo swept past his seven rivals with just over a furlong to go to claim an impressive 2 1/2 length victory over Winter Dream in the Qatar Prix du Cadran (Fr-I).

Ridden confidently by Gerald Mosse, Gentoo was held up in last through the early stages of the 2 1/2 mile marathon as Blek set a sensible pace.

The order remained unchanged after 12 furlongs, with Blek still showing the way. Askar Tau and Shawnee Saga followed him, with Mosse patiently keeping Gentoo in last.

Mosse moved Gentoo to the outside three furlongs from the wire, and the pair swept to the lead with just over a furlong left. Gentoo continued his powerful run through the stretch, crossing the wire an easy winner.

Winter Dream held on for second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of the late-running Kasbah Bliss. The final time for the 2 1/2 miles was 4:40.80.

Gentoo is a 6-year-old gelding by Loup Solitaire out of Ifni, by Bering. Bred in France by Jean-Claude Seroul, Gentoo is trained by Alain Lyon for owner Serge Tripier-Mondancin.