Sensational Soumillon Has Group I Triple

Jockey Christophe Soumillon recorded a remarkable Group I triple at Longchamp Sunday in the biggest day of French racing of the 2003 season so far.

Soumillon brought home Maktoum al-Maktoum's Musical Chimes in the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (FR-I), the French 1,000 Guineas, for 3-year-old fillies at a mile to complete the sweep, which was the rider's fourth winner on the Longchamp card.

He captured the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains (FR-I), the French equivalent of the 2,000 Guineas for 3-year-old colts at a mile with the Lagarde Family's Clodovil.

Soumillon also collected an important victory in the Prix Lupin (FR-I) for 3-year-old colts and fillies at about 10 furlongs aboard the Agha Khan's undefeated Dalakhani.

In a roughly run stretch run, Musical Chimes, a daughter of In Excess, found a gap on the inside and got to the front in the final 50 yards to defeat Sheikh Mohammed's pacesetting Maiden Tower by a length. Etoile Montante was edged by a short neck for second.

Musical Chimes gave trainer Andre Fabre a French Guineas sweep.

Fabre teamed with Soumillon to put favored Clodovil in the winner's circle in the French 2000 Guineas, Fabre's fourth victory in the race.

The Irish bred son of Danehill got to the lead a furlong from the wire and held off Mrs. John Magnier's Catcher in the Rye by a length. Ridden by Kieren Fallon for trainer Aidan O'Brien, Catcher in the Rye closed from last in the field of 10 in the final furlong, finishing 1 1/2-length ahead of Krataios in third.

Soumillon had the favorite well placed just behind the leading pair Dalcassian and Krataios and had the race sewn up when he kicked for home a furlong out. O'Brien's first string France, ridden by Michael Kinane, was fourth. David Loder's Desert Destiny finished fifth as Jamie Spencer's mount appeared to find traffic difficulty at the rail.

The Aga Khan-owned Dalakhani maintained his unbeaten record with a convincing win in the Prix Lupin, his fifth consecutive victory.

The Irish bred son of Darshaan had the toughest race of his career, but Soumillon had the heavy favorite in the field of seven traveling well in third on the inside. He was pushed to the lead more than a furlong from the finish and was shaken up close to home as he got a serious challenge from Super Celebre and Alberto Giacometti.

Dalakhani, headed for the French Derby at Chantilly, prevailed by a length. Super Celebre was 3/4-length ahead of Alberto Giacometti, with O'Brien's Balestrini finishing fourth.