Champion filly Finsceal Beo was narrowly denied a famous Classic double as Darjina came with a late rush to snatch the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I) by a head at Longchamp on Sunday.
Jim Bolger’s filly, who captured the Stan James One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) just last week, was attempting to become just the fourth filly (along with Miesque, Ravinella, and *Imprudence II) to accomplish this rare double. It looked as though Finsceal Beo was about to achieve this goal as she and jockey Kevin Manning shot clear from the field with just two furlongs left to run.
Christophe Soumillon and Darjina had other plans, however, and the pair produced an electric turn of foot to gain the victory in the last stride. Rahiyah stayed on well to claim third.
Owner Princess Zahra Aga Khan was elated to take the French classic with a homebred runner. “She comes from a very consistent family and they are quite an unexpected and rapidly growing family,” she stated afterwards. She later added, “I have just three horses in training with Alain (de Royer-Dupre) and we now have won four group 1 races in just over nine months.”
Jim Bolger was not disheartened by Finsceal Beo’s defeat, and plans on running his star filly in the Boylesport Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at The Curragh at the end of the month. Bolger told reporters after the race, “It all went well, but the shower before racing didn’t help at all. She was very well coming here, and was two kilos heavier then before
Darjina is a 3-year-old bay filly by Zamindar, out of Darinska, by Zilzal. Both she and Finsceal Beo (<sr>Mr. Greeley</sr>-Musical Treat, by <sr>