Resurgent Zenda Takes French Classic

Khalid Abdullah's homebred filly Zenda led early, was headed midway through the mile race, then regrouped to win the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Pouliches--French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) by a length over Firth of Lorne (by Danehill) on Sunday at Longchamp. Sophisticat, a daughter of Storm Cat out of Serena's Song closed well to finish third, a short neck behind the runner-up. Wrong Key (Key of Luck) was fourth of 17.

Under Richard Hughes, Zenda completed the mile in 1:37 on the soft turf.

The John Gosden trained Zenda is a 3-year-old daughter of Zamindar out of the Dancing Brave mare Hope. Her second dam, Bahamian (by Mill Reef), produced Wemyss Bight (by Dancing Brave), dam of Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) winner Beat Hollow (by Sadler's Wells). Sunday's win marks the second in four career starts for Zenda, who won for the first time last month in England.

"I had lunch with Prince Khalid at Saint-Cloud earlier in the month," Gosden told the Racing Post. "He said that if I believed in the filly, I should let her take her chance in the Pouliches. Not many owners would let you go from a maiden to a group 1 race.

"Zenda had been working very well at home. The filly would have won in even better style if she had settled earlier. For the moment we will stay at a mile and go for the Irish 1,000 Guineas and then the Coronation Stakes."