French Classic winner Stacelita kept her unbeaten record intact with a controversial victory over Dar Re Mi in the Qatar Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) at Longchamp Sept. 13.
Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) winner Dar Re Mi was actually the first past the post, holding off the late-charging Stacelita by a neck. The Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber owned filly had her victory taken away in the steward’s room though, after it was deemed she slightly impeded the fifth-place finisher, Soberania. As a result, Dar Re Mi was demoted to fifth, and Stacelita was elevated to first.
Madeleine Webber was understandably upset with the stewards’ decision, telling the Racing Post, “I don't understand what's happened,” she said. “Maybe we won't come to France any more. Why would anyone want to bring their top horses to race in France when you know this sort of thing can happen on a whim?”
Martin Schwartz, American-born owner of Stacelita, was booed and heckled when he collected the winner’s trophy. Regardless, he plans to supplement the daughter of Monsun to the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) on Oct. 4.
The winning time for the 12 furlongs was 2:29.10 on a turf course rated as good. Stacelita improved her record to six wins from as many starts, with three group I victories to her credit.
Plumania was elevated to second, and Board Meeting was moved up to third.
Stacelita was bred in France by Jean-Pierre-Joseph Dubois. She is out of the stakes-winning Dashing Blade mare Soignee, and hails from the female family of champions Steinlein, Zagreb, Schonbrunn, and Sagace.
Spanish Moon Eclipses Rivals in Prix Foy
He may be banned in Britain, but Spanish Moon has made the most of his "exile" to France, leading from the start under Ryan Moore to capture the Qatar Prix Foy (Fr-II) and stamp himself as an Arc contender.
The Sir Michael Stoute trainee is banned from competing in England due to his unruly behavior at the starting gate. As a result, Stoute has sent the son of El Prado to France on several occasions, resulting not only in the Foy win, but also victory in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) in June.
Multiple group I-winner Vision d'Etat finished strongly to grab second under Olivier Peslier, three-quarters of a length behind Spanish Moon. Crossharbour, who like Spanish Moon is owned by Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm, finished third, just a half-length further back.
Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:28.70.
Spanish Moon was bred in Kentucky by Juddmonte Farm. He is out of Shining Bright, by Rainbow Quest. He is a full brother to Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) winner Spanish Sun.
Cavalryman Charges to Prix Niel Victory
The Godolphin team keeps marching to victory, this time being led by their sharp 3-year-old colt Cavalryman. The son of Halling was impressive in capturing the Qatar Prix Niel (Fr-II) by a half-length over Beheshtam.
Partnered by Frankie Dettori, Cavalryman raced comfortably in third as Claremont and Aizavoski disputed the lead throughout the early stages. As the field entered the home straight, Cavalryman took command and had plenty left in the tank to hold off the late bid of Beheshtam.
Aizavoski held on for third, another three-quarters of a length further back. Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:30.10.
Trained in France by Andre Fabre, Cavalryman has improved his record to four wins from seven starts. In his previous start, Cavalryman won the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I).
Cavalryman is out of the Highest Honor mare Silversword. Closely related to champions and/or group I winners Double Honour, Magnificent Style, Silver Ending, and Siberian Summer, Cavalryman was bred in England by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley.